On April 20, 2009, Senators Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, and Max Baucus (D-Mont.), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, sent a letter to President Obama laying out their commitment to mark-up comprehensive health care reform legislation by early June. The senators’ joint letter expressed an intention to take a shared approach to health care reform legislation, so that the measures the committees report can be quickly merged into a single bill for consideration by the full Senate. “We have a moral duty to ensure that every American can get quality health care. We must act to contain the growth of health care costs to ensure our economic stability; to help American businesses deal with the health care challenge; and to make sure we are getting our money’s worth,” the senators wrote.
Senate Democrats already are holding hearings and hammering out legislative language expected to be introduced in June. A tentative timetable sets floor debate and votes for late July or August.
The House, with its oversized Democratic majority, would follow the Senate action, setting the stage for conference committee negotiations by the end of the year.
Americans are going to go off on vacation and come back to a completely made-over health care system that will ration services and interpose the government between the doctor and the patient. Incredibly, MSM is almost wholly silent on the details of the radical restructuring of American medicine. Reporters know all of the slogans and none of the details, and they haven’t been pushing for answers.
[Senator] Baucus is not the only one interested in keeping options open. The senator joined the Center for American Progress on Monday to announce the re-formation of Doctors for America, a grassroots organization of over 11,000 doctors in support of health care reform. Formerly known as Doctors for Obama, the group during the 2008 campaign advocated Barack Obama’s proposal for a government-managed option.
So, “Doctors for Obama” became “Doctors for America,” and it supports “a government-managed option.” What a surprise. There are about 800,000 doctors in the US, so the 11,000 Obama docs are less than 1.5% of docs. Where’s the AMA?
As I wrote on Monday, the silence from AARP is deafening as its core constituency gets pushed closer and closer to a rationing system that will deny them treatment first.