Liberals Gag Over Health Deal

Blue Dog Democrats hold out for a weakened public option -- leadership acquieses

Originally at Politico.com
July 30, 2009 -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spent half of Wednesday finalizing a deal with the Blue Dogs — and the other half quelling a brewing rebellion among progressives who think conservatives have hijacked health care reform.

 
Liberals, Hispanics and African-American members — Pelosi’s most loyal base of support — are feeling betrayed after House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) reached an agreement with four of seven Blue Dogs on his committee who had been bottling up the bill over concerns about cost.
 
The compromise, which still must be reconciled with competing House and Senate versions, would significantly weaken the public option favored by liberals by delinking reimbursement rates to Medicare.
 
“Waxman made a deal that is unacceptable,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), one of about 10 progressives who met repeatedly with Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Wednesday.
“We signed a pledge to reject any plan that doesn’t include a robust public option, and this plan doesn’t have a robust public option,” he added.
 
For a followup to this article published Friday announcing a deal to strip Medicare payments click here.

 

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