A key House committee approved a health care package tonight, kicking off a 5-week public battle on the issue and sending lawmakers home for August recess, the Washington Post reports. The 31-to-28 vote in the House Energy and Commerce Committee, fueled by a liberal–Blue Dog deal this morning, could give low-income workers greater subsidies for health insurance.
Liberal and conservative Democrats each won victories in the bill, the Los Angeles Times reports:
- Libs: Insurers would be limited in premium increases they can impose; feds could negotiate pharmaceutical prices under Medicare.
- Blue Dogs: More small businesses would be exempted from employer-mandated health care; fewer low-income people would qualify for subsidized coverage.
House Democrats now plan to draw on three committees' health care plans and assemble legislation for a floor vote next month.