The 111th Congress and Health Care Reform by ProQuest

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									 WASHINGTON BEAT


           The 111th Congress and Health Care Reform
                                                         Don Lavanty

President Obama has made health care reform his                  had acted on legislation to be reported to the full
domestic legislative priority. He has asked the                  Senate and full House of Representatives, respectfully.
Congress to pass legislation that would extend health
insurance coverage to the uninsured and                          In the Senate, the HELP Committee reported a
underinsured, and enhance coverage for Medicaid                  health care reform bill to the full Senate that would
and children’s health care. In his request to Congress,          require everyone to have health insurance, have a
he also asked that the costs necessary to pay for the            public program established for those who could not
universal coverage be borne by savings in current                afford health insurance and whose employers did not
health care programs expenditures, and where and if              provide coverage. The bill also recommended several
appropriate, by raising revenues.                                changes to the health care work force, with an
                                                                 emphasis on primary care and prevention. The
The process began in earnest in the late spring with             reported bill, however, contained no provisions for
all five committees of jurisdiction holding hearings.            savings or revenues to pay for the cost of extending
Those Committees were in the Senate: The                         coverage as their committee does not have jurisdiction
Committee on Health, Education, Labor and                        over the Medicare Program or the tax code (should
Pensions (HELP) which was chaired by the late                    Tax Code be capitalized? I don’t think so).
Senator Kennedy, and The Senate Finance                          Jurisdiction for Medicare and taxes rest with the
Committee, chaired by Senator Bacaus. In the U. S.               Senate Finance Committee. The Finance Committee
House of Representatives the three committees were:              has yet to mark up legislation, although at press time
the House Ways and Means Committee, chaired by                   they indicated that they would do so by mid-
Mr. Rangel of New
								
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