Posts Tagged ‘medicare’

Medicare at 55 could replace public option

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

As published in the Record Journal Wednesday December 9, 2009

By David Espo
Associated Press

WASHINGTON — After days of secret talks, Senate De­mocrats tentatively agreed Tuesday night to drop a gov­ernment run insurance option from sweeping health care leg­islation, several officials said, a concession to party moderates whose votes are critical to pas­sage of President Barack Obama’s top domestic priority. Majority Leader Harry Reid refused to provide any details at a mid-evening news confer­ence where he told reporters a “broad agreement” had been reached between liberals and moderates on the controver­sial issue.

With it, he said, the end is in sight for passage of the legisla­tion that Congress has labored over for months.

In place of a government ­run plan, originally designed as a way of forcing competi­tion on private industry, offi­cials said the Democrats had tentatively settled on a private insurance arrangement to be supervised by the federal agency that oversees the sys­tem through which lawmakers purchase coverage. Addition­ally, the tentative deal calls for Medicare to be opened to uninsured Americans beginning at age 55, a significant ex­pansion of the large govern­ment health care program that currently serves the 65-and­ over population.

The officials who described the details did so on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorized to discuss them publicly. Despite their reluc­tance, some senators had talked openly earlier in the day about the progress of the nego­tiations.

The developments followed a vote on the Senate floor ear­lier in the day in which abor­tion opponents failed to inject tougher restrictions into the sweeping health care bill.

Technorati Tags: ,,