White House Reaches Across the Aisle on Health Care Reform
Less than a week after a high-profile, bipartisan health reform summit in Washington, President Obama has said he’s open to adopting four major provisions preferred by the Republicans, The Associated Press reports. The concessions include:
- An additional emphasis on pilot programs designed to rein in medical malpractice costs.
- Higher Medicaid payments to tackle the trend of doctors refusing to treat low-income patients.
- Anti-fraud programs featuring investigators impersonating patients.
- An expansion of personal health savings accounts.
The AP’s Erica Werner notes the asterisk necessarily accompanying Obama’s maneuver:
Obama’s announcement is not likely to win any votes from Republicans. Nor is there any guarantee that Democratic leaders will agree to incorporate the administration’s suggestions in revised legislation. But it could give wavering Democrats political cover by showing the White House has been willing to compromise in the wake of last week’s summit.
As the Democrats push to pass health care reform before the Easter recess, they can use all the political cover they can get.