With President Obama set to kick off his health care road show in a few minutes, I thought I’d round up some of the health care news from over the weekend.
The House Democrats have two major obstacles to passing a health care bill. The first is developing an actual final set of changes that both the House and Senate could agree on and pass via reconciliation. The second is that mutual distrust among the two chambers has made it more difficult to convince House members that the Senate will in fact pass the agreed on changes with a reconciliation bill. Along these lines…
Rep. Jason Altmire, a Pennslyvania Democrat who voted “no” the first time around and is now wavering, said, “The Senate has given us a lot of reason not to trust them.”
Rep. John Adler of New Jersey, another original Democratic “no” vote, questioned the cost saving measures in the bills: “If the House and Senate can’t work out cost containment, I don’t see how I could support a bill that doesn’t help our business community.”
Rep. Brian Baird, a reitiring Washington Democrat who voted “no,” said leadership can’t assume that Democrats who aren’t seeking reelection will vote for the bill. The Hill reports: “Appearing across from Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.) on CNN’s ‘State of the Union,’ Baird heartily agreed in principle with the need to reform healthcare but expressed reservations about the current bills. He responded ‘yes’ when host Candy Crowley asked if he would vote against the current proposals even if it meant that healthcare reform went down.”
Meanwhile, Rep. Eric Massa, a Democrat who was forced to step down over allegations he harassed a male staffer, came out fighting on a radio show, arguing he was pushed out because he voted “no” on the health care bill:
“There’s a reason that this has all happened, frankly one that I had not realized,” Massa said on WKPQ radio on Sunday. “Mine is now the deciding vote on the health care bill, and this administration and this House leadership have said, quote unquote, they will stop at nothing to pass this health care bill. And now they’ve gotten rid of me and it’ll pass.”
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