October 17, 2009

ALL SETTLED EXCEPT THE TAX HIKES AND THE ATTACK ON BUSINESS...:

House, Senate Dems at odds on health care overhaul (ERICA WERNER, 10/17/09, The Associated Press)

Some of the toughest fights loom over what requirements employers should have to shoulder to see that their workers are covered, and perhaps stickiest of all, how to make coverage affordable and pay for extending it to millions of uninsured.

Senators would tax high-value health insurance plans to pay for covering the uninsured, an approach supporters say would curb health costs because it would lead to employers offering less generous benefits. The more populist House would tax the highest-income people, placing the burden of caring for the neediest Americans on the backs of millionaires.

"I don't know how you split that difference," said Rep. Artur Davis, D-Ala., a member of the House Ways and Means Committee. "It's not just about numbers. These are philosophical differences about how you pay for reform."

Any showdown between the House and Senate is a ways off, and will happen only if both succeed in passing their own health bills. Democratic leaders in both houses are working to finalize their legislation - a process that is itself fraught with difficulties - in time to hold floor debates within the next several weeks.

Presuming the House and Senate do pass bills, they will go to a conference committee made up of Democratic leaders and key committee chairs from both chambers. There, with plenty of input from the White House, the most powerful members of Congress will fight it out in private.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., put it mildly this past week: "There are different views in the House," he said.


If you were running the GOP 2010 campaign war room you couldn't ask for more than that Democrats spend their tenure on this voter alienating mess.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 17, 2009 7:12 PM
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