House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she was “optimistic” that the House and Senate could resolve their differences in respective healthcare legislation and present a bill to the president by year's end.
While pleased that the Senate Finance Committee finally released its long-awaited reform package, Pelosi conceded that differences remained and that provisions for seniors in the House legislation, America's Affordable Health Choices Act, “are stronger than what's in the Senate bill.”
In addition, Pelosi reiterated her call for a robust public option in the final legislation, something the Senate Finance bill omitted in favor of creating not-for-profit, member-owned co-ops that would compete with private insurers.
In a separate news conference, House GOP Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) called the Baucus bill a “partisan proposal that still relies on a big government, costly approach” and would raise taxes on small businesses in the middle of a recession. “I don't think these big government healthcare bills will pass either the House or the Senate,” he said.