Archive for Saturday, September 5, 2009

Liberals pressure Obama for government-run health care

September 5, 2009

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— House liberals pleaded with President Barack Obama on Friday to push for creation of a government-run health care program as the Senate’s chief negotiator said he won’t wait much longer for Republicans to compromise amid dwindling chances for a bipartisan bill.

Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., held a nearly two-hour teleconference with his small group of negotiators, who call themselves the “Bipartisan Six.” Afterward, Baucus was careful to leave the door open to a long-sought deal, but he clearly signaled the time has come for him to move ahead.

“I am committed to getting health care reform done — done soon and done right,” Baucus said in a statement. He is considering making a formal proposal to the group of negotiators.

Obama, meanwhile, tried to placate disgruntled House liberals who fear he is too eager to compromise with Republicans and conservative Democrats to get a bill. In a phone call from the Camp David, Md., presidential retreat, Obama spoke to leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and other liberal-leaning House groups.

Caucus leader Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., said the lawmakers expressed their commitment to creation of a government-run plan to compete with private health insurers. On Thursday, they sent Obama a letter saying they could not support a health bill that lacked such a public option.

Woolsey said Obama listened, asked questions and said the dialogue should continue. She said a follow-up meeting will occur next week at the White House. Another participant said the president was noncommittal about the government-run plan.

Senate Finance is the only one of five congressional committees with jurisdiction over health care that has yet to produce a bill. Baucus had held back from convening a bill-drafting session, hoping that his group of three Democrats and three Republicans would reach a compromise behind closed doors that could win broad support. But he faces a Sept. 15 deadline from the Democratic leadership — and the prospect of losing control of the legislation if he doesn’t act.

Comments

mr_right_wing 5 years, 8 months ago

.....because there is no one more efficient, speedy, customer-friendly and top quality than the U.S. government! I look forward to working with the IRS again this year! I don't think there is anything that our government shouldn't run...or tax...or at least HEAVILY regulate! I'm going to write Washington right now, because as an American citizen, I need this government to dictate my bathroom habits! Horray!

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