House Energy and Commerce health care markup scrapped.
(Scroll down for updates)
The House Energy and Commerce health care markup planned for this afternoon has been canceled, with the panel’s Democrats being summoned to the White House as President Barack Obama hopes to break its logjam.
Seven Blue Dog Democrats on the panel have threatened to block the legislation unless major changes are made that cut costs overall and also direct more funding to rural areas. The markup is scheduled to resume Wednesday.
Is Obama’s Consigliare, Rahm “Fingers” Emanuel, going to make them an offer they can’t refuse? Perhaps he’ll deliver a fish wrapped in newspaper to send a message to those who aren’t receptive.
UPDATE #1: Steny Hoyer: Health Care Vote Before Recess Unclear
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) is confirming what leadership aides have been signaling: that the House may not vote on a health care package before leaving town at the end of next week for a monthlong August break.
“I’ll make that decision next week. I’m not going to make it now,” Hoyer told reporters at his weekly roundtable.
Update #2: Governors send strongly worded letter to Congress
The nation’s governors have sent a letter to Congress urging them not to impose “unfunded federal mandates and reforms that simply shift costs to states” as they consider health care reform. A House proposal would provide permanent funding for Medicaid expansions, which the governors support.
Writing on behalf of the National Governors Association, chairman Jim Douglas (R) of Vermont says:
Any unfunded expansions would be particularly troubling given that states face budget shortfalls of over $200 billion over the next three years. This gap persists even after the Recovery Act’s temporary increases in the federal share of Medicaid, which was essential for avoiding dramatic cuts to critical state services and was greatly appreciated by governors.
Governors welcome the opportunity to share and expand upon the innovative reforms we have instituted in our states to expand coverage, reduce cost and improve the quality of health care. These reforms should inform congressional efforts and must be preserved and encouraged as part of any national reform.
We appreciate your willingness to work with us to pursue financing options that are sustainable at both the federal and state levels.