Feb. 11, 2016

Policy Briefings: Health Care Legislation: What Now?

Fate of Health Reform Bill in Democrats’ Hands

Despite overtures by Democrats and Republicans to work together, it is now certain that if health care reform is to move forward it will do so in the same fashion it has over the past year: primarily as a Democratic effort.

Baucus: We Must Reform Health Care Now

Ten years ago, Dan DeJong, a fourth-generation rancher from just outside Libby, Mont., was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Dan worked hard all his life, but when faced with massive bills to treat his cancer, Dan and his wife, Pat, had no choice but to sell the family’s land and apply for Medicaid and food stamps.

Coburn: Reconciliation Strategy Will Backfire

President Barack Obama’s decision to move forward with a reconciliation strategy will have the opposite effect of what he intends. Instead of ending the debate with a sweeping reform bill, he will most likely achieve nothing and restart the debate. From the perspective of the American people, that is just as well.

Woolsey: Public Option Too Potent to Ignore

The public insurance option is the Lazarus of the health care debate. Time and time again it has been pronounced dead, only to rise again. Even now, though it was not included in President Barack Obama’s heath care plan, it remains part of the debate. The public option is included in the House bill, and momentum is building in the Senate, where more and more Members are announcing their support for its inclusion in a reconciliation bill.

Ross: Americans Confused About Reform

My hometown of Prescott is a small community in southwestern Arkansas with about 3,700 people. It’s a quiet and cordial town where people still know their neighbor’s name, still say “hello” to one another in the grocery store and still help one another out when times are tough. And times certainly are tough. As the Congressman for Arkansas’ 4th district, I represent 29 counties that cover much of the southern and western parts of the state and include about 150 towns, many of which are just like Prescott.

Casey: Kids Overlooked in Reform Debate

Many of the headlines in the health care reform debate have bypassed a very important group that is too often overlooked: children. Throughout health care reform, my top priority was to ensure that no child was left worse off by our efforts and that we improve health care for children. The Senate-passed bill meets this test and would improve care for millions of children.

Kline: It’s Still Not Too Late to Start Over

As the outlines of the Democrats’ health care endgame begin to emerge, one thing has become perfectly clear: The majority party in Washington, D.C., has no intention of bipartisanship. Before last month’s televised summit, President Barack Obama submitted an 11-page proposal that included “targeted changes” to the 2,700-page Senate bill.

Weiner: Get Tough With the Obstructionists

As President Barack Obama continues to push health care reform across the finish line, many pundits and critics say he needs to focus on jobs and the economy, asking, “Which should come first — health care or the economy?”

Fudge: Uninsured a Burden on Taxpayers

It happens after community meetings, during telephone town halls and even in church: Northeast Ohioans ask me not to give up on making health care more affordable and accessible to all.

Cassidy: Legislation Is Missing Incentives to Control Costs

Pop quiz: What is the goal of health care reform?
(A) Expand access
(B) Lower costs
If you answered (A), odds are you’re a Democrat. If you answered (B), you’re probably a Republican. But if you reject that you have to choose, you’re on the right track.