Blue Dog Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee offered a counter-proposal to Rep. Henry Waxman's (D-Calif.) earlier offer to compromise on outstanding issues that are delaying negotiations on the House healthcare reform bill.
“We've got both items on the table,” Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.), chairman of the Blue Dog Health Care Task Force, told reporters, “and we're continuing to negotiate in good faith.”
Waxman, chairman of the Energy and Commerce panel, has said that he would resume negotiations on the America's Affordable Health Choices Act, provided the Blue Dogs accepted his compromise. Ross, however, indicated that “it might be impossible” to resolve all 10 issues where differences remain.
One of those issues, establishing an independent advisory council to help set Medicare reimbursement rates, is still on the table, although lawmakers are disappointed by the Congressional Budget Office's assessment that the council would achieve only moderate savings, Ross said.