T-Minus Two Days to House Health Care Bill

Posted October 27, 2009 at 1:30pm

House Democratic leaders expect to finally determine the shape of the public insurance option in their health care overhaul in the next two days, with the aim of bringing a bill to the floor late next week, lawmakers said Tuesday.But while most House Democrats were jubilant about the decision by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to include a version of the public option in that chamber’s bill, it was not clear how the development would affect the impasse in their Caucus over how to structure it in their package. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is still working Membership rolls to determine whether a plan pegged to Medicare reimbursement rates — the “robust— option favored by liberals — can muster the support it needs, or whether the alternative, a plan with negotiated rates, fares better.“She’s the leader of the 218 Caucus,— Rep. Robert Andrews (D-N.J.) said.House Democratic leaders huddled Tuesday morning but broke with no announcement on how they intended to proceed. And lawmakers who attended a Caucus meeting said afterward that leaders gave no indication of which way they were headed.After weeks of mulling the issue, and checking and rechecking Member views on it, the schedule may be what forces leaders’ hand. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Tuesday that leaders want to role out a bill this week. “That would be our objective, and it’s our objective because we want to consider this bill next week, and pledged to give 72 hours notice, so we need to roll out the bill this week.— And Assistant to the Speaker Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said a decision should be made in the next “24 to 48 hours.—