A bloc of freshmen Democrats is readying a legislative package of changes to a broad health reform bill that could affect the financial ledgers of hospitals and doctors.
Freshmen Democrats developing own package
Sen. Mark Begich, a first-term Democrat from Alaska, said that a number of his newly elected colleagues are unhappy with the current slate of provisions aimed at curbing runaway healthcare costs. “It's really going to focus on cost containment,” Begich said. “A lot of us freshmen came in here focused on how to do the business differently—not the same old way of just putting money on the table and hope that solves the problem.”
Begich added that the key to the alternative proposal would be on changing “the system to improve the delivery so people get better service, better care and more care for less cost.”
The senators, however, have so far kept details close to the vest. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) said that the legislative package now being crafted would beef up some of the demonstration projects already in the bill. It “allows us to take proven results and move them faster, providing broader-based cost-containment,” he said.
Both lawmakers said that approval of the amendment package is key to how they ultimately vote on the leading Senate reform bill.
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