Obama to Push Cost Controls in Merging Health Bills

Senate plan is the model, but House wants concessions
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 24, 2009 8:04 AM CST
President Barack Obama meets with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid in this file photo.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – Barack Obama is going to take an active hand in shaping the compromise between the House and Senate health care bills. His top priority is ensuring that the final bill does enough to control costs, the Wall Street Journal reports. To that end, he favors the Senate’s tax on “Cadillac” plans over the House’s tax on millionaires, saying it will encourage cheaper plans and discourage unnecessary procedures.

Obama also favors the Senate’s less-restrictive abortion language, and wants to keep the Senate’s Medicare Advisory Board. The public option is off the table, but the House will want concessions—and tough cost control measures—in its place. Pelosi has been assuring members that they aren’t just rubber-stamping the Senate plan. “We're asking every American to share some responsibility in getting health insurance,” said one rep, “We need to ensure that every American can afford it.”

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