As you’ve probably already heard by now, House Blue Dogs and the Democratic leadership have hammered out a compromise on healthcare reform that includes a public option, and according to McJoan and others, very few major concessions to the conservative wing of the party:
In addition to postponing the vote on the full bill until after recess, Waxman and the Blue Dogs negotiated a basic outline including raising the small business exemption raised to payrolls of $500,000 or over. It keeps the public option intact, and allows for HHS to negotiate rates for the public option. It keeps consumer protections currently in the bill intact.
Like everyone else I’ve been nagging my contacts trying to get details and reactions, but apparently, non-Blue Dogs haven’t been told what’s exactly in the compromise yet, so there hasn’t been much detail or reaction to share. That said, Rep. Jay Inslee is holding a telephone town hall tonight at 7:10 PM PT, and perhaps he’ll have more information by then. The public is invited to call in at 877-229-8493 or 877-269-7289; conference code is 13634.
It seems apparent that reimbursement rates are at the heart of negotiations on the public option, a fact that Rep. Inslee emphasized throughout his press conference Sunday on last week’s compromise agreement on Medicare reimbursements:
I specifically asked Inslee if we’d get a real public option out of the House, and he emphatically said that we would, while noting that the Blue Dogs have “balked” at tying the reimbursement system to Medicare. This new compromise apparently takes care of this objection by allowing HHS to negotiate rates. (And, in so doing, options the opportunity to move away from fee for service.)
So while Inslee and other non-Blue Dogs apparently haven’t seen the compromise yet, he sure did have some insight into what was coming.