Politico: Reid Says No Health Reform Vote Before August Recess

Politico reports that that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has stated the Senate "would not attempt to pass sweeping health care reform until after returning from the August recess."

Delays in health care reform could have negative implications for inclusion of reproductive health coverage, by giving opponents more time to pressure conservatives in Congress to hew to their own ideological lines.

Nonetheless, it is clear that lacking agreement on cost containment, the basic design of health plans, the role of government involvement and coverage for reproductive health care, among other things, no bill will be done by tomorrow, one of the deadlines set by the President.

On Thursday, for example, a group of nine Democratic freshmen senators signed a
letter urging Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus to craft a bill that
gets “health care costs under control so we can compete in the global
marketplace.”  Signatories included Democratic Senators Mark Warner of Virginia,
Michael Bennet and Mark Udall of Colorado, Mark Begich of Alaska,
Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Roland Burris of Illinois, Jeff
Merkley of Oregon, Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Tom Udall of New


“In the face of exploding debt and deficits…we are concerned
that too little focus has been given to the need for cost containment,”
the senators wrote. “We believe that any final bill must include
innovation, hard decisions, and incentives to bend the cost curve.”

These and other concerns have given leadership no choice.


“It’s better to get a product that’s based on quality and thoughtfulness than on trying to just get something through,” Reid told reporters.


In the House, according to Politico, "Democratic leaders are also backing away from the August
deadline, a day after President Barack Obama encouraged Congress to
keep pushing on a national health care plan."

But, Politico states:


House Democrats seem to be sending mixed messages in their
predictions. In a closed door meeting Thursday morning, Majority Whip
Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), exhorted his colleagues to keep the House in
session through August, warning they would pay political consequences
for not getting something done on health care. But Speaker Nancy Pelosi
later said she’s not worried about such deadlines.

"I’m not afraid of August," Pelosi said. "It’s a month." 



But clearly, states Politico:

Democrats are afraid of where the political conversation is
going on health care. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and
Obama’s top Hill liaison, Phil Schiliro, ducked into a meeting Thursday
afternoon with Blue Dog Democrats who have held up the House version of
the bill.

Reid said the Senate would try to complete a package in the fall. And
he was merely confirming what Majority Whip Dick Durbin had said
Wednesday, when he said a bill would not be passed before the upper
chamber breaks for recess on August 7. 


Women’s health advocates will have to work through the next two months to ensure that both the House and Senate return to the process committed to addressing their most basic health needs.


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  • invalid-0

    Poll Still Finds Public Support for Health-Care Reform: While a majority of Americans still think health-care reform is needed now, some of that support has wavered slightly as Congress wrestles with the details of producing a reform package, according to the July Kaiser Health Tracking Poll. Fifty-six percent of Americans continue to believe that health reform is more important than ever, despite the country’s economic problems. And by a better than two-to-one margin (51 percent to 23 percent), Americans think the country would be better off if Congress and President Barack Obama enacted health reform, the poll found.
    Aside from the savings created by the prevention and wellness program, medical IT, foreseeable potential stem cell effect, mental stress relief and massive job creation, ending subsidies for the private insurers (on reducing ER visits) and payment reform and so on could be enough to meet the goal of deficit-neutral.
    Public school, public insurance policy, and public clean energy act are the natural parts of life in the free nations.

    Thank You !

  • invalid-0

    You must be a very lucky woman Jodi. Obviously no one in your family ever had cancer and you are not in the least bit worried that you or they ever will. If you were concerned about cancer (or anything else) you would appreciate that in this country we enjoy the best health care ever enjoyed by anyone anywhere and you would want to protect that. Do we have uninsured people? sure and that can cause terrible FINANCIAL problems AFTER the healthcare issue has been addressed, but when you need the care it is there. No one leaves the U.S. for their healthcare. We have the highest survival rates in the world for almost every kind of cancer. I’m afraid I’m not as fortunate as you are. Both my grandmothers had uterine cancer (one died) and another grandfather died of pancreatic cancer so I’m very releived that we’ll all get a chance to consider the ramifications of this bill before taking a collective, European style swan dive off a cliff.

  • invalid-0

    cmarie, YOU are “very fortunate” that your relatives were able to get insurance coverage for their cancer.

    Now, in real life, insurance companies pay fat bonuses for finding reasons to deny coverage for cancer patients, not even to mention women who have no insurance, and thus no access to health care at all.

    The “best system in the world” is USELESS if people have no access to it.

  • invalid-0

    If the United States has the best healthcare system in the world, how come there are 50 million or more people out there without healthcare insurance at all, and many more who’re inadequately covered? The stories about people being turned away from hospital emergency rooms and healthcare places because they’re unable to pay or have no health insurance, or are denied health insurance altogether due to pre-existing conditions of some sort or other abound, plus the costs of healthcare premiums, etc., in this country are soaring sky-high right now, too. For people whose employers pay “peanuts” and/or fail to offer health insurance plans, it’s especially devastating, particularly if they have mortagages to pay and families to support. It’s tough for single people too, btw. Having said all of the above, here’s a suggestion: You might want to rent the DVD of Michael Moore’s documentary film “SICKO”, which gives an excellent insight to the whole situation.