The race for healthcare reform is on. It is imperative that we contact the senators. If it is not passed this year we are toast for at least 4 more years.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, Montana Democrat, who is expected to take the lead on writing a health care reform package, has said he wants to have a bill ready by the end of June.
The committee’s top Republican, Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, said last week that "if we don’t get it done this year … it ain’t going to be done for four years."
"That’s why Senator Baucus and I are on an aggressive schedule," said Mr. Grassley during a health care forum in his home state last week. "I think we have momentum right now."
Beginning this week, the committee will host a series of three roundtable meetings between senators and health care industry experts in preparation for piecing together a health care reform package.
A single payer insurance is preferable however we must insist that at least the government-run insurance to compete with private insurance is included. Ultimately that will converge to a single payer system as a for profit insurance simply cannot compete with a non-profit insurance plan. Esoteric plans can be handled by the private sector but we must have a single payer for basic healthcare insurance.
A bitter partisan battle almost certainly will accompany any attempt to change the nation’s health care system.
Democrats likely will insist on the inclusion of a government-run insurance plan for middle-class Americans that would compete with the private sector – a provision that worries Republicans. A massive government-insurance plan modeled after Medicare and Medicaid may drive many private insurers out of business, Republicans say, resulting in fewer health care options for Americans.
"I think we believe, along what Democrats believe, that all Americans should have access to high-quality, affordable health insurance," House Minority Leader John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, said Sunday on ABC’s "This Week" program. But "we’re not for a plan that puts the government in charge of our health care, decides what doctors ought to be paid or what treatments ought to be prescribed."
Let your senator and congress person know that they have your support for fast-tracking healthcare via reconciliation which only requires a simple majority vote.
Another difficult decision Democratic leaders face is whether to bypass regular legislative rules to allow health care reform to pass the Senate by a simple majority using a fast-track procedure called "reconciliation."