Good News on Healthcare
House and Senate negotiators may be close to a deal.
Today we get good news from the House:
House leaders, the White House and four Blue Dogs on the Energy and Commerce Committee reached a deal Wednesday on a health care overhaul....Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.), head of the Blue Dog health care task force, said the deal would cut more than $100 billion from the Democratic health bill, increase exemptions for small businesses and prevent the public insurance option from basing reimbursements on Medicare rates.
And we get good news from the Senate:
The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana, who is leading efforts to develop a compromise health care bill announced Wednesday that negotiators had pared the price-tag to under $900 billion over 10 years and that lawmakers had agreed on ways to cover the cost....Late Tuesday, Mr. Baucus had hinted that his group had mostly finished their work on how to pay for the bill. “The costs, I think, are pretty well nailed down,” he said.
Perhaps Tyler Cowen is right: a lot of the day-to-day chatter along the way to healthcare reform "is simply noise." We won't know that for sure until we have actual bills, an actual conference report, and an actual vote, but hey — it's an odd-numbered day and I'll take whatever good news I can get. And agreement of any kind, even without knowing the details yet, is forward progress. That's good news.