Pelosi Says House Health Care Reform Proposal Will Be Unveiled Today
On Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that House Democrats will release their health care reform bill today, acknowledging that there still is work to be done on the legislation during committee markups, The Hill reports.
"It won't be the finished product," but "in order for us to be on schedule, we have to roll out legislation this week," she said (Young, The Hill, 7/13).
The bill originally was scheduled to be released last week but was delayed after members of the Blue Dog Coalition expressed concerns over a number of provisions (O'Connor/Frates, Politico, 7/13).
Changes to Proposal
Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), and the chairs of the House Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, and Education and Labor committees met with Blue Dog Democrats last week. Committee staff worked throughout the weekend to make changes to the legislation (The Hill, 7/13).
One of the changes lawmakers proposed was to the employer mandate.
Under the House bill, companies with payrolls of $250,000 or less -- up from companies with payrolls of $100,000 or less -- would be exempt from a requirement that businesses provide health coverage to their employees.
After a meeting on Monday night with House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), Blue Dogs' Health Care Task Force Chair Mike Ross (D-Ark.) said that the concession was "probably not enough" and that the bill "will need significant other changes."
Ross said that Waxman "understands he's got to have the votes to get it out of committee and my count is he's about nine short right now" (Edney, CongressDaily, 7/14).
House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said on Monday, "We are much, much better off today than we were last week" (Politico, 7/13).
Pelosi said, "We're still on schedule. We have plans to vote for this legislation before we leave for the August recess" (The Hill, 7/13).
Hoyer confirmed that the House still intends to adjourn on July 31. The Senate is scheduled to be in session until the first week of August (CongressDaily, 7/13).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.