Kennedy Circulating Reform Plan Resembling Massachusetts Law
Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chair Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) is circulating an outline of health care overhaul legislation that includes a requirement that all individuals obtain coverage and requires contributions from employers, the Washington Post reports.
According to the Post, the legislation "closely resembles" the Massachusetts health insurance law enacted in 2006.
The draft summary indicates that the bill would call for a public, government-sponsored health insurance option that would compete with private insurers. The measure also would expand Medicaid eligibility, according to the Post.
Kennedy spokesperson Anthony Coley said that the outline is not yet finalized. He said, "We are still actively negotiating with members" of the Senate HELP Committee.
According to a top White House official, Kennedy is expected to introduce his measure on Monday.
A timetable released by Kennedy's office calls for Senate HELP Committee Democrats to meet June 2 (Connolly, Washington Post, 5/29).
A bipartisan walk-through of Kennedy's bill is scheduled for June 5 and June 9. Hearings on the bill would then take place on June 10 or June 11.
The mark up of the bill is scheduled from June 16 through June 25 (Bogardus, The Hill, 5/28).
If Kennedy holds to the schedule, he will be ahead of other congressional Democrats, including Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-Mont.), on proposing overhaul legislation (Washington Post, 5/29).Coley said, "These are target dates that are not set in stone." Although Senate Democrats are hoping to pass health care reform legislation before the August recess, several senators have questioned whether that timeline is feasible (The Hill, 5/28). 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.