House Leaders Plan To Combine Health Care Reform Bills Next Week
On Wednesday, House Democratic leaders said that they hope to merge the three versions of their health reform bill (HR 3200) by next week so that it can be reviewed by members and scored by the Congressional Budget Office before it is introduced on the floor for a final vote, CQ Today reports (Roth, CQ Today, 9/23).
On Wednesday, House Democratic Caucus Chair John Larson (D-Conn.) said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) "has been very adamant about making sure that we have a bill for people to examine next week," adding that it "won't be the final answer but it will be something that can now say, 'OK, is this something we can all coalesce around?'" (House/Hunt, CongressDaily, 9/23).
Also on Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee completed its final markup of the legislation. Now the House Rules Committee must combine the Energy and Commerce version of the bill with the versions produced by the House Education and Labor, and Ways and Means committees.
According to CQ Today, House Democratic leaders will participate in that process "behind the scenes" (Armstrong, CQ Today, 9/23).
On Wednesday, Pelosi said that production of a single health care bill does not mean that it will be brought to the floor immediately. She said CBO "has to take 10 days to two weeks when we complete the design on the bill" to score it (Roth, CQ Today, 9/23).
House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Chair Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) said he hopes for a floor vote in October.
Questions Over Deal With Blue Dogs
Concessions made by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) over whether to include a public plan in an attempt to appease members of the fiscally conservative Democratic Blue Dog Coalition might not be included in a merged version of the House reform bill, CQ Today reports.
Asked whether such deals would still be in place once the versions of the bill are reconciled, Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.), the lead Blue Dog on the committee, said, "I don't know."
According to CQ Today, Waxman did not promise anything regarding the concessions beyond his committee (Armstrong, CQ Today, 9/23).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.