The last of the five Congressional committees assigned to draft a health care reform plan completed work on Tuesday. For the first time, the Senate Congressional Committee voted in favor of making it mandatory for every American to have health coverage. Their package pushes for expansion of Medicaid and provides 18 million with federal subsides so those who can’t afford insurance can obtain it. In fact, the package calls for the biggest expansion of Medicaid in 40 years, totaling $829 billion in the next decade.
R. Bruce Josten, chief lobbyist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce had this to say on the new update. “Although it was the best effort to date, the Senate Finance Committee missed an opportunity to create a truly bipartisan bill to reform our nation’s health-care system,” said R. Bruce Josten, chief lobbyist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. ”
Gerald W. McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, added:
They call it reform legislation, but we don’t think it is. It’s deeply flawed.” Unless it undergoes major changes, he said, “we’re going to oppose it.
Only one republican lawmaker, Senator Olympia J. Snowe (Maine), voted to support Obama’s top domestic initiative. Now that the Senate Finance Committee has submitted there package meetings with White House Officials will begin to compile all the bills into one final product. Snowe’s vote will be very important and it is essential for the democrats to keep him on board to avoid a GOP filibuster.