By Craig A. Kennedy, MPH
The time is fast approaching to fish or cut bait on health care reform….and it looks like the President and Congress are opting to try their hand at catching some fish. Despite some apparent large-scale differences between the House and Senate-passed versions of the legislation, Congressional leaders from both sides of the Capitol and even the President himself have been cranking through negotiations day and night that appear to be coming to a close. The Congressional leaders are indicating that they may be able to send a near-final version to CBO as early as today, especially after negotiators came to an agreement with unions on the taxation of health benefits.
While negotiators are keeping the details close to the vest until they get the deal worked out and through CBO, rumors are that there is agreement on the shape of the exchange (federal, but without a public option). No details are available as of this writing on the subsidy level or the Medicaid level, but they are clearly on a path to get this done soon. Health Centers have been weighing in at every level, and NACHC has been engaged with the negotiators on each one of the priority issues and many more. We will know more about the status of each after CBO scores the whole package. Remember we didn’t learn the details of the Reid package until after CBO either.
So for now, we push – and wait to see what kind of fish they can reel in.