The Waiting Room
Here’s a quick wrap-up of today’s health care news.
President Obama gave a speech today in support of health care reform at a General Motors plant in Lordstown, Ohio, in which he offered the autoworkers a novel argument for reform — as Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele might put it: “Mo’ money!” That’s an angle that could resonate with Americans — Ezra Klein cites new numbers from the Kaiser Family Foundation showing that over the past 10 years, the cost of a health care policy for a family of four has risen three times faster than wages.
It was also the day the Senate Finance Committee was supposed to drop its long-awaited “Gang of Six” bipartisan compromise bill — you can find a summary here (PDF) — but, alas, it was not to be. The unveiling has been bumped until tomorrow, and the committee is set to mark up the bill next week.
That didn’t stop Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) from making known his opinion of the Finance bill — and its failure to include a government-run insurance program to compete with private insurers.
“If it stays the way it is now, or even close to it, I’m going to vote no,” Rockefeller said, vowing to offer “many, many, many” amendments to the legislation — including a public option provision — when the bill is marked up in the Finance Committee.
On the Republican side of the aisle, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) reaffirmed his stance against Democratic proposals, saying they would lead to higher taxes. And Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) doesn’t think the Finance bill will win the support of many Republicans. But you already knew that.