Update – A link to the just released House bill can be found here, and a summary of the legislation here. The committee also has guidance documents for employers, on the public plan, and other aspects at the Education & Labor committee website. Check back for ASAE’s summary of the legislation for associations.
Original Post – A ticking clock may be the best image to describe yesterday’s developments in health care in both chambers.
House Democratic leaders are expected to unveil their comprehensive health care legislation today. The legislation was supposed to be unveiled last week but protests from the Blue Dog caucus and over how to pay for the legislation derailed the timeline temporarily. ASAE will post an analysis of the legislation on the Power of A, specifically looking at if it addresses Blue Dog concerns over small business costs and how the bill raises revenue. According to Congress Daily (subscription), the Blue Dogs and House Democratic leader have already failed to compromise on an employer mandate for small business, with leadership setting an exemption for companies with payroll under $250,000, which Blue Dog leadership feels excludes too many small businesses.
On the Senate side, Senate Finance Chair Max Baucus has told his committee that their health care bill’s unveiling will be Thursday (subscription), according to ranking member Charles Grassley (R-IA). While Baucus publicly has denied this timeline, he has come under increased pressure from the White House and Democratic leadership to release his committee’s bill. Yesterday, White House officials held a conference with Baucus, Ways & Means Chair Charlie Rangel (D-NY), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to coordinate their efforts on health care reform. According to the Associated Press, the president told Baucus directly that he wanted a bill publicly announced by the committee before the end of the week. When it is released, ASAE will post a summary on this site.
Congressional Republicans hone talking points on potential health care legislation… HELP Committee approves amendment for 12-year exclusivity window before generic versions of biologic drugs can be marketed… Senator Grassley is profiled by Wall Street Journal and targeted by Health Care for America… Insurance associations hold health care “fly-in”.