After hearing from all sides of her caucus, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has announced some minor changes to the health care bill she unveiled last week, enshrined in a so called “Manager’s Amendment” to the greater bill she plans to bring to the floor.
You can read the Manager’s Amendment here (PDF). By agreement, it will have to be online for at least 72 hours before the bill can come to the floor, meaning we could see action by the end of the week. At a glance I see some tweaks firming up the provisions ending the anti-trust exemptions for insurance companies, and creating some real consequences for violators.
Again, at a glance, I see no changes to the public option, particularly one, requested by House progressives, to create a ceiling on the rates negotiated between the government and health care providers. I also see not a single word about abortion–Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) wants to ban any and all federal money–including money spent on subsidies for private insurance plans–from paying for abortions, and he’s been raising quite a fuss about it.
But it’s legislative text, so we’re still going through it, and will certainly have more for you in the morning.
Late update: Pelosi has issued a statement on the amendment, which I’ve pasted below the fold.
“Tonight, we have filed a manager’s amendment to the Affordable Health Care for America Act, which is the next critical step toward comprehensive health insurance reform that ensures affordability for the middle class, provides security for our seniors, and protects our children’s future by not adding to our deficit. Our bill covers 96 percent of Americans, makes coverage more affordable for all, and creates new consumer protections that will end discrimination by insurance companies against the sick and cap what Americans pay out-of-pocket.
“Building on the legislation House Democrats introduced last week, this manager’s amendment includes these key improvements to the bill:
Â· providing $1 billion in new resources to states to rein in price gouging by insurance companies,
Â· excluding insurers who put profits over patients from an affordable marketplace that will serve tens of millions of Americans,
Â· expanding on the provision that removed insurance companies’ anti-trust exemption and strengthening it to further promote competition and bring down costs for Americans; and
Â· expanding oversight to further prevent waste, fraud, and abuse.
“Americans are ready for comprehensive health insurance reform, and the House will soon act.”