Chairman Rangel: Passing Health Care is Harder After Obama’s Speech
From the Associated Press:
Taken off guard, Democrats at work on health care legislation are grappling with President Barack Obama‘s nationally televised insistence on immediate access to insurance for those with pre-existing medical conditions, as well as richer Medicare prescription drug benefits than originally envisioned.Additionally, Obama’s pledge to hold the overall cost of legislation to about $900 billion over a decade has spread concern among House Democrats, who have long contemplated a costlier measure.
Yet another late complication, according to several Democrats, is the president’s statement that he will not sign a bill “if it adds one dime to the deficit, now or in the future, period. And to prove that I’m serious, there will be a provision in this plan that requires us to come forward with more spending cuts if the savings we promised don’t materialize.”
The $900 billion target is “very difficult,” Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, told reporters. “This is reducing coverage for poor and working people.” He spoke of other “restrictions the president has given in his speech.”