Enzi and other Republicans on the panel criticized the committee leaders decision to start negotiations even though key sections of the 615-page bill have been left blank and have yet to be assessed for costs by the Congressional Budget Office. Not enough is known about the bills provisions on Medicaid expansion, a government-run insurance option, an employer mandate and the legislations cost, Republican members said.
Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), who is chairing the committee in absence of the ailing Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), clarified that some areas of the legislation have been left potentially open for our conversations so we can resolve them. The ultimate goal is to get a bill that is paid for, Dodd said. He admitted the bill wasn't perfect, but insisted it would reduce costs through health IT initiatives and by cutting waste, fraud and abuse.
Negotiations on the bill are expected to continue in the HELP committee through June 26.
What do you think? Post a comment on this article and share your opinion with other readers. Submit your comments to Modern Healthcare Online at [email protected]. Please be sure to include your hometown and state, along with your organization and title.