White House: “Stay Tuned” for Health Care Proposal

Congress dropped the health care reform ball… will the President pick it up and run with it?

Time.com’s Karen Tumulty reports that White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, when asked if the White House is preparing it’s own health care plan for next week’s summit, replied “Stay tuned.”

Ms. Tumulty went on to say: “One official told me that a White House measure is likely to look very much like the Senate bill, with a few changes: It would be stripped of some of the controversial special deals, such as the now-infamous “Cornhusker Kickback,” and there would be instead a more equitable provision to help states deal with their increased Medicaid costs. There would also likely be some kind of revision (and probable retrenchment) on the deal that was struck with the unions on the ‘Cadillac Tax.’”

With the Democrats’ loss of a senate seat in Massachusetts, negotiations on the House and Senate bills ground to a virtual halt. The odds of a unified bill before the summit appear slim. Earlier this week, in a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Democrats made the case for avoiding a filibuster by passing the public option through the process of reconciliation.

What remains to be seen is if a White House bill, should it be forthcoming, would have any teeth at all, or if reform will be further diluted in an attempt to win some Republican support. It most certainly would include provisions to protect people with pre-existing conditions, but is unlikely to include the controversial public option.

The Associated Press reported today that the White House and congressional leaders are working together to prepare a detailed health care proposal that is to be posted online prior to the February 25 summit.

Kaiser Health News reports that a Zogby/University of Texas Health Science Center poll that found a majority of Americans polled think Congressional leaders should start the whole thing over with a clean slate.

Whether the White House comes up with an entirely new plan or works with Congress to reconcile the House and Senate bills, is less important than the business of getting an estimated 30 million uninsured Americans access to health care, ending denial of coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, and reducing costs.

Republican leaders have been invited — again — to share their ideas and submit their own proposals for reforming a health care system that is spiraling toward disaster.

If Congressional leaders, both Democrat and Republican, will work with the White House in an effort to do the right thing for the country… well, let’s not hold our collective breath. But do stay tuned.

Related Reading:

Public Option No Longer Optional

Health Insurer Defends 39 Percent Increase

Marrying for Health Insurance: Size Does Matter

Photo: whitehouse.gov


Elaine Dixon
Elaine Dixon7 years ago

good story

Cris Fugate
Past Member 7 years ago

While I am all for healthcare reform to bring down cost and reduce regulation, I am not for universal health care. I think universal health care will actually do the opposite because it simply puts another layer on a broken system. As far as I can see, they have not addressed the root cause of our health cost woe. But you can bet the lobbyists will get their way.

murray m.
Past Member 8 years ago

note, from the article:
"Whether the White House comes up with an entirely new plan or works with Congress to reconcile the House and Senate bills, is less important than the business of getting an estimated 30 million uninsured Americans access to health care, ending denial of coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, and reducing costs."
I am an American citizen, from the day I was born in 1945.
America has led the world in civil, women's, animal rights, and health care access. I have 3 children, 3 grandchildren, and most are females. I want the best in health care for them. This president and congress have created a ferocious monster, instead of an efficient health care plan. Take the first need: to insure 30 million uninsured. what an idea? the plan insures not only 30 million uninsured US citizens, but also 22 million illegal aliens---that is about 52 million, not 30 million. No one should be denied health care based on pre-existing conditions. Super idea! -- but this congress includes perfectly healthy pregnant women with perfectly healthy fetuses. Any inconvenienced woman can get her abortion paid for... My daughter is very pro-choice. This is fine, and she can pay for it herself. The third one, reducing costs, is the final point, a point of absurdity, the way this 4000 page pile of contradiction is written. Blame the Republicans. Well, I an an independent, praying for the demise of both of these parties. I am sorry if I failed to offend any

Sylvie M.
Sylvie M8 years ago

I might already have said this somewhere else in other Care2 discussions: us Frenchies have one of the best public health cares in the whole known universe, for more than sixty years - it has its flaws, but these could be corrected by a better organisation (it would take me a whole book to explain all this). And I'm not the only French citizen to wonder why the US of A won't accept a thing which, in our eyes, is as "obvious" as the sun rising East every morn.

Jeanne Devey
Jeanne Devey8 years ago

Check the recent updates on Feb. 17, 18th. Check out Keith Olbermann MSNBC on these dates re: healthcare!
Jeanne Devey!

Walter G.
Walter G8 years ago

Too much double speak from Obama & co. Not enough distraction to divert public attention, if it ever existed. Outright lies in the form of contradictions or omissions about almost everything mentioned about this farce of a health plan uttered and written. Nancy (the wicked _itch from the west) declaring she would force this turkey down our throats, and the nuke plants being touted as a solution looking for a problem, AGAIN, THIS TIME AROUND. We'll need insurance if the voting public allows those things to be completed. Hey Barrack, which island will we put these on? I understand the Ukrainians are selling one used, cheap! Whatever the solution, we'll just throw money at it, and if that doesn't work, we'll throw more money! First people got kicked out of their homes, now cities and municipalities are going bankrupt, so a few years down the road we'll have modern era "ghost towns." People get, so it is said, the kind of government they deserve. What did we do to deserve first Bush and now this? What about the war? What about Gitmo? What about Hillary, out there in the world throwing our money away by the handful? The blue and white plane rolls up, out comes Hillary, and there goes the first bushel basket of dollars, hand fulls weren't enough! but nobody picks up any, not worth the effort! We didn't pay attention, so this is the government we end up with, the one we deserve!

Simon H.
Simon H8 years ago

The public option is only "controversial" in conservative circles. Poll after poll shows that the public option is overwhelmingly popular in the country. That's because it does the one thing everybody wants - something to keep the insurance companies honest. Everyone knows that the insurance companies will have to reduce their rates and improve their service if they want to compete. Everyone except rabidly pro-business conservatives want this as the major achievement of health care reform.
So let's stop calling the public option "controversial" and start calling it what it is - "the extremely popular public option"!

Joseph Belisle
Joseph Belisle8 years ago

I will be sincerely shocked if the Whitehouse does anything good with healthcare. Obama is already on record for believing that only insurance ran, for profit healthcare is acceptable or possible. But then who really believes what a US President says.
Nothing put out by Congress will be acceptable. Progressives will not like it because it will not be any real reform and I/Me/Mine conservatives will not like it because it is some sort of reform.
Congress and the President need to bite the bullet like other nations leaders have done and make universal healthcare happen. Each country who has reformed their healthcare system to a state run system had major opposition from the insurance industry and from the less than sane but they made it happen and each country is the better for it. Costs went down. Care went up. Health of the people went up. Longevitiy increased.
We are so entrenched in free market greed and corruption it's sickening.

Harold P.
Past Member 8 years ago

Here is what absolutely nobody in Washington gets. What we want, what we need, what we are going to be looking for every step of the way is something that actually does make the number of dollars we have to come up with to acheive adequate health care go down. We are way beyond being impressed with the dog and pony show they have been putting on. We are no longer listening to the rhetoric. We want real, actual, genuine affordable health care and it is really, really easy to count our dollars and see whether or not we are getting it. Put up and please shut up.

Rita Walpole A.
Rita Walpole A8 years ago

What's to stand by for? Dr./Gov. Howard Dean said it right, and medical folks countrywide are in full agreement with him. Budget reconciliation, with healthcare through beefed up Medicare for all - enacted within a year. If the pres. has to negotiate something with G.O.P.ers (what's going on with all his lack of backbone anyway?), let him play around with supplemental insurance (that can carry abortion coverage, etc.) with a public option included. Time to get tough, get health care for all, and begin to.....UNDO THE COUP!