Pelosi Studying Senate Bills in a Hunt for Cost-Savings

Posted September 25, 2009 at 12:34pm

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is eyeing Senate health care bills for ideas as she aims to slash the cost of the House health care bill to $900 billion over the next decade.

She told reporters Friday afternoon that Democratic leaders made progress during an all-morning meeting to discuss the House bill and are considering Senate Finance provisions that provide alternative ways to pay for the plan.

Democrats also were taking another look at provisions helping small businesses and seniors, and at how to keep insurance companies honest, with “a public option, or a cooperative or whatever.—

Pelosi said lawmakers are still awaiting some scoring from the Congressional Budget Office on various provisions.

House Democrats have been wrestling with concerns from many rural Members that tying a public option to Medicare rates will hurt providers in their states. The problem is that a plan tied to Medicare saves the most money.

And if a tax hike on the wealthy survives, it appears likely to be scaled back to appease Members from wealthy suburban districts.