Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Healthcare Reform: Blue Dog Democrats have an apparent deal on Healthcare Reform

According to a Reuters report, Blue Dog Democrats in the House of Representatives (fiscal conservative Democrats) have reach an apparent deal they can support to overhaul the nations healthcare system. There are still some final details to be worked out, but according to the Blue Dog coalition leader, Representative Mike Ross (D-AR), they will send the bill to the full committee on House Energy and Commerce on Wednesday, but the full House vote won't happen until after they get back from the August break, in September.

Some of the key provisions of the deal that got the Blue Dogs on board:

  • Cost of the bill is now under $1 trillion.

  • 86% of small businesses exempt from any government mandate to provide coverage to employees.

  • Businesses with payrolls under $500,000 are totally exempt.

  • Businesses with payrolls between $500,000 to $750,000 would not be exempt but be phased in.

  • States would have the option to set-up healthcare insurance cooperative.

  • Federal Government would be required to negotiate prices with healthcare providers.

These are positive developments and its clear that there was some "horse trading" going on. We will stay tuned to see if this thing holds together.

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