July 31, 2009

Well, it's about damned time:

Liberal lawmakers who oppose a deal House leaders cut with centrist Blue Dog Democrats have gathered signatures from 57 lawmakers who say they won't vote for the plan.

“This agreement will result in the public, both as insurance purchasers and taxpayers, paying ever higher rates to insurance companies,” the letter says. “We simply cannot vote for such a proposal.”

If Republicans oppose the healthcare bill on the floor en masse, 57 Democrats voting “no” would defeat the bill.

The agreement between four Blue Dogs and House leaders cut $100 billion off of the price tag of the bill. Under the proposal, reimbursement rates in the government-run “public plan” would not be linked to Medicare. It would also reduce subsidies to make a government-run “public plan” more affordable.

Liberals say those changes undermine the public plan by making it too expensive for people to join.

The signers are mostly members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Asian-Pacific Islander Caucus.

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