November 16, 2009 |
Some reader questions about the proposed healthcare legislation in Congress: Will abortions be covered by the legislation as it stands now? The House healthcare bill passed this month includes a provision that would bar the government-run insurance plan (the "public option") and all private insurance plans that receive federal dollars from covering abortion services. Employers can offer abortion coverage under their benefits packages. The Senate is considering similar provisions, but has not decided on specific language.
November 1, 2009 |
Some reader questions on the national healthcare debate, focusing on the House bill unveiled Thursday by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco): FOR THE RECORD: Healthcare overhaul: An article in the Nov. 1 Section A that gave questions and answers about the House healthcare bill unveiled by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) said that the measure would exempt employers with yearly payrolls of less than $250,000 from providing health benefits to employees. Employers with annual payrolls of less than $500,000 would be exempted.
October 29, 2009 |
Paving the way for a crucial vote on healthcare legislation in the next two weeks, House Democratic leaders plan to unveil a compromise bill today that would create a nationwide government-run insurance plan but omit what many liberals consider the key to cost control. According to senior lawmakers and aides, the so-called public option in the new compromise would not dictate what the plan can pay hospitals, doctors and other providers. Instead, the federal government would have to negotiate rates with providers, much as private insurers do. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco)
October 28, 2009 |
Faced with opposition from Sens. Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) over inclusion of a government-run insurance program in the Senate healthcare bill, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has intensified negotiations with a handful of Democrats whose support is crucial to passing the legislation. Reid's announcement Monday that he would include a government insurance option in the bill, but allow states to opt out of it if they chose, thrilled liberal allies and Democrats in the House, where support for the so-called "public option" runs strong.
October 24, 2009 |
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) said Friday that states might be able to "opt out" of any nationwide government insurance plan, a compromise that she suggested could unify congressional Democrats and enable President Obama to sign a healthcare overhaul bill later this year. Pelosi remains a leading champion of the "public option," which would establish a federal health insurance program that would give consumers who don't get coverage through their employer an alternative to plans offered by commercial insurers.
October 20, 2009 |
In an effort to reconcile a nearly $250-billion difference between the House and Senate approaches to overhauling healthcare, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is pushing a bill to halt scheduled reductions in Medicare payments to physicians. The measure, introduced last week by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), would end the cuts and set Medicare payment rates at current levels. Doing so would allow Democrats to maintain the American Medical Assn.'s support for an overhaul without having to absorb the cost of higher doctor payments in the final healthcare bill.
October 19, 2009 |
The White House will not commit to healthcare legislation that would cap insurance premiums or tax benefits, taking a wait-and-see approach as congressional negotiators seek a deal, advisors said Sunday. President Obama will not demand that a final bill include a government-run plan as a way of driving down costs through competition, though that's his preference, they said. "There will be compromise. There will be legislation, and it will achieve our goals: helping people who have insurance get more security, more accountability for the insurance industry, helping people who don't have insurance get insurance they can afford, and lowering the overall cost of the system," senior advisor David Axelrod said on ABC's "This Week."
October 7, 2009 |
With congressional Republicans defying him on healthcare, President Obama is trolling for prominent GOP officials and independents outside Washington who will publicly endorse his plans as the legislative fight moves toward a crucial phase. On Tuesday, the White House rolled out its latest trophy -- a letter from Republican California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger saying he shares many of the same healthcare goals as the president, including "slowing the growth in costs" and "enhancing the quality of care."
October 5, 2009 |
Some reader questions on the national healthcare debate: How can we be sure that there will be no rationing of healthcare or pharmaceuticals under the bills being considered in Congress? Democrats argue that there is rationing in the current healthcare system, in part because insurance companies can rate consumers on the basis of preexisting medical conditions or drop them if they get sick. Those practices would be outlawed as part of the current legislation. As for pharmaceutical coverage, it's possible that some consumers could end up with more coverage for prescription drugs than they have now. -- Why is that?
October 1, 2009 |
As the Senate Finance Committee continued to debate its version of a healthcare overhaul bill today, Democrats and Republicans clashed over abortion -- potentially complicating President Obama's drive for action this fall. At issue is how far healthcare legislation should go to prevent insurance companies from offering abortion services to the millions of women who could get taxpayer subsidies to help them pay premiums. Federal funding of abortions has been prohibited since 1976, when an amendment by Rep. Henry J. Hyde (R-Ill.