Thursday, March 4, 2010

a few GOP ideas in Democratic health care plan?

From David Lightman and Margaret Talev (hat tip: C-J)...

President Barack Obama offered Tuesday to include four Republican initiatives in his health care bill, but GOP leaders were unenthusiastic as Democrats prepared a last big push to get legislation passed....

By telling Republicans he wants to incorporate some of their suggestions, Obama can argue that the Democrats' approach is bipartisan regardless of whether any Republicans vote for it in the end — and few if any were signaling Tuesday that they're inclined to do that.

Among the Republican ideas Obama said he's considering [from the GOP]...

-medical professionals conducting undercover investigations of health care providers that receive reimbursements from Medicare and Medicaid;

-$50 million for states to pursue alternatives to medical malpractice litigation, a major Republican initiative

-higher doctor reimbursement "in a fiscally responsible manner" under Medicaid

-encourage the use of Health Savings Accounts in conjunction with high-deductible health plans.

The first three are modest and a mixed bag. The fourth would be a vital addition.

It's good political cover to at least pretend that he cares about GOP input. Beyond that, he might throw them a bone or two. I'd be shocked if he allows #4, but that'd be a big help.

We'll see...


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