I've been screaming here and on TV that it's up to the House to change the health-care bill as much as possible, even if it's happening in a conference-lite type setting. Rep. Raul Grijalva has been very vocal lately and now says the President needs to get involved.
"The president is having his listening sessions, right?" Grijalva asked rhetorically. "After all we've been through at some point the administration can not be neutral players in this process."
Noting that the President stands foursquare behind the Senate's proposal to tax so-called "Cadillac" insurance policies to raise money, Grijalva put it to him to weigh in on some of the House's priorities. "How do you weigh in on a national exchange? How do you weigh in on a public option? How do you weigh in on the anti-trust exemption?"
The public option is a non-starter at this point, and House leaders, progressives, and key chairmen are pushing the White House to support other priorities, including organizing insurance exchanges at a national level, moving the implementation date for major reforms forward by one year, and, at least, diminishing the impact of the Cadillac tax.
"Watching the fight is not enough," Grijalva said. "The pressure shifts to the White House now."
I received an email with a wrap up and pdf from Rep. Grijalva. Here's the entire document that the House has put together, called CPC Conference Comparison.
I continue to feel that the House language provides better solutions to a wide range of problems with our health care system, especially regarding the public option and the creation of a national insurance exchange. Those and many other unresolved issues, including affordability mechanisms and insurance company oversight, will be discussed thoroughly over the next few weeks. As those conversations take place, I look forward to promoting the same publicly supported, money-saving progressive agenda that I have championed since this process began.”
The attached list of policy priorities was recently sent to Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid and the White House.
I think the bill is not all that certain to pass at this point.