Today bloggers are turning to amendments offered to the Senate Finance Commitee other than Tuesday’s failed public option submissions.
Paul Testa of the New Health Dialogue pulled key words from the Democratic and Republican senators’ opening statements made during last week’s markup hearings. According to the word clouds, “health” and “insurance” were the most common ones used by both parties. Those spectators of those opening festivities often noted the differing tone between the parties, which is not borne out by this comparison.
But onto the amendments.
Time’s Karen Tumulty reports that Olympia Snowe may decide to withdraw her much-anticipated amendment to create a “trigger” for a public option, and instead “offer it when the bill reaches the Senate floor.”
Critical Condition’s John Hood, referring to the defeat of a public plan option in the Senate Finance bill, says, “winning that one battle won’t win the war.” He continues:
It is critically important that we all understand what will happen if a Baucus-type bill passes even without a government-run plan or government-sponsored cooperatives. Once the federal government enacts a mandate that businesses or individuals purchase government-approved health insurance — along with new regulations that essentially abolish real insurance in favor of mandatory, prepaid health care for all comers — the resulting political dynamic will lead inevitably to the unraveling of the private market and a government takeover in the future.
Anthony Wright of the Health Access Blog examines what he calls “the other big debate in the Senate Finance Committee.” This battle was focused on amendments regarding whether a minimum actuarial value standard should be set for plans offered through the health insurance exchange.
The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein reports that an amendment from Orrin Hatch that would require women to purchase separate insurance to cover abortions was rejected.
Philip Klein of the American Spectator blog says commitee members voted down an amendment from John Ensign that would have exempted middle-class families from paying a penalty for not purchasing health insurance.
Wonk Room’s Igor Volksy relays debate between Chuck Grassley and Jeff Bingaman over whether to require people applying for Medicaid to show a photo ID.
To round out your afternoon, a group called PSAmockery spoofed a video that’s been making the rounds that featured celebrities mocking insurance company executives. The new “spoof of a spoof” is matched almost shot-by-shot to the former video, but the message has changed: “Something terrible is happening… Overpaid celebrities don’t have a big enough voice when it comes to health care reform.” (Via Hot Air)