Members of the CPC draw a line on the public option
Alegre reports on
today's yesterday's press conference in which members of the Congressional Prograssive Conference announced their letter to Pelosi, Waxman, Rangel, and Miller, stating exactly what they expect of a public option.
July 31, 2009
Dear Madame Speaker, Chairman Waxman, Chairman Rangel, and Chairman Miller:
We write to voice our opposition to the negotiated health care reform agreement under consideration in the Energy and Commerce Committee.
We regard the agreement reached by Chairman Waxman and several Blue Dog members of the Committee as fundamentally unacceptable. This agreement is not a step forward toward a good health care bill, but a large step backwards.
Any bill that does not provide, at a minimum, for a public option with reimbursement rates based on Medicare rates - not negotiated rates - is unacceptable. It would ensure higher costs for the public plan, and would do nothing to achieve the goal of "keeping insurance companies honest," and their rates down.
To offset the increased costs incurred by adopting the provisions advocated by the Blue Dog members of the Committee, the agreement would reduce subsidies to low- and middle-income families, requiring them to pay a larger portion of their income for insurance premiums, and would impose an unfunded mandate on the states to pay for what were to have been Federal costs.
In short, this agreement will result in the public, both as insurance purchasers and as taxpayers, paying ever higher rates to insurance companies.
We simply cannot vote for such a proposal.
Are they saying that they won't vote for "any bill that does not provide, at a minimum, for a public option with reimbursement rates based on Medicare rates - not negotiated rates" - or are they merely rejecting the compromise plan? I can't tell.