The House Democratic leadership is approaching the votes needed to pass its massive health care reform bill. The measure gathered momentum on Wednesday when Democratic Congress member Dennis Kucinich of Ohio announced he would switch his vote and support the legislation even though it wouldn’t create a public option. At a Washington news conference, Kucinich said he is supporting the bill despite disagreeing with its contents.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi today outlined the changes to the Democrats' health care reform overhaul, praising the reform package for bringing down the deficit according to a nonpartisan estimation.
The updated health care reform bill has been posted online, starting the clock on a 72-hour window before the House can vote on it.
Many Democrats – from fiscal and social conservatives on the right of the caucus to progressives on the left – have had serious concerns about the Senate version of the bill – even with a package of “fixes.”
President Obama pledged in an interview with Fox News on Wednesday that the final provisions of the health care plan would be "posted for many days before this thing passes" to give the public a chance to review it.
The president told supporters the health reform bill now on the table takes the best ideas from both Democrats and Republicans. Obama said the bill is “a common sense approach to protecting you from insurance company abuse and saving you money. That’s the proposal, and it’s paid for.”
There were some revisions too. The revisions to the health care legislation take the form of an “amendment in the nature of a substitute” to a bill reported out earlier this week by the House Budget Committee. Keep in mind that the budget reconciliation measure makes changes to the health care bill adopted by the Senate on Dec. 24. The text of the Senate bill is also posted on the Rules Committee site.