With almost two and a half months until President-Elect Obama takes the Oath of Office, the U.S. Congress is already ramping up a number of plans to address the health care crisis.
Robert Pear of The New York Timesreports:
Without waiting for President-elect Barack Obama, Senator Max Baucus, the chairman of the Finance Committee, will unveil a detailed blueprint on Wednesday to guarantee health insurance for all Americans by facilitating sales of private insurance, expanding Medicaid and Medicare, and requiring most employers to provide or pay for health benefits.President-Elect Obama's aides have stated that he welcomes congressional efforts and has encouraged that body to take the lead on this high priority issue. Sen. Baucus, who we have been following here for some time, calls for universal coverage as the final goal. He is not the only one drafting proposals of this nature, however; several others from his own party have ideas in the works as well.
Other Democrats with deep experience in health care are also drafting proposals to expand coverage and slow the growth of health costs. These lawmakers include Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts and Representatives John D. Dingell of Michigan and Pete Stark of California.While each proposal is going to be unique, Mr. Pear says that they will all be "broadly compatible," with the President-Elect's stated positions on the subject. The Baucus plan would go one step further with its universal coverage goal; President Elect Obama's approach would only mandate coverage for children.
It looks like we will be seeing a plethora of options presented soon, a huge step forward as we move towards Health Care Reform Now!
SOURCE: "Senator Takes Initiative on Health Care" 11/11/08
photo courtesy of Kimberlyfaye, used under its Creative Commons license