Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Good News: Harry Reid's Open to Changing "BaucusCare"

I think we progressives now have our opening.

Reid is concerned about the cash-poor state's inability to boost Medicaid spending as would be required under the bill.

“While this draft bill is a good starting point, it needs improvement before it will work for Nevada," Reid said in a statement. "During this time of economic crisis, our state cannot afford to shoulder the second highest increase in Medicaid funding."

Reid said he received assurance from the chairman, Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, that the formula would be changed before the bill goes to committee next week.

"I spoke to the Chair of the Finance Committee and he assured me that this bill will be improved for Nevada," Reid said.

"Let me be very clear, I will not bring a health insurance reform bill to the Senate floor that is not good for Nevada.”

Honestly, I'm just glad that Reid wants to get rid of this unfunded mandate and replace it with real aid to ensure that Nevada's Medicaid program can cover more people. However, there's another reason I'm celebrating right now.

The Baucus Bill is becoming increasingly hated by just about everyone other than the HMOs. As it is, it's pretty much dead on arrival. And with Harry Reid now placing a nail on that coffin, we have a chance to get a better bill on the Senate floor, a better bill with better financing, better subsidies and assistance for the working poor, and a better public option that we can all opt into.

Open Left and CREDO Mobile are doing an online petition to Harry Reid demanding that he brings a bill to the Senate floor with a strong public option. Let's round up plenty of Nevada signatories so that he knows where his constituents stand. As long as Reid's improving the bill, let's make sure he leaves room for a good public option. ;-)

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