Daschle, Dole Team Up for Outside Health Care Push

Could-have-been '90s partners finally team up
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2009 8:47 AM CDT
Health and Human Services Secretary-designate Tom Daschle, right, greets former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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(Newser) – When the Clintons were trying to pass their health care reform bill in the early '90s, Tom Daschle tried desperately to enlist Bob Dole. Now, 15 years later, he finally has. Daschle and Dole, along with former Republican leader Howard Banker, are leading an outside push for a bipartisan health bill, reports David Broder in the Washington Post. And this time, they’re confident it’ll actually happen.

Daschle and Dole’s plan would be a heavy lift. It would tax employers that don’t provide health care, or that offer so-called Cadillac policies; neither proposition will be popular. They also skip the public option that many Democrats adamantly support, and many Democrats say is a deal-breaker. But Dole thinks it’ll get done. “You have business, labor and a whole cross section of people saying, ‘We need to have reform,’” he says.