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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tom Daschle and other former Senate Leaders offer health care reform

This from Roll Call, which requires a subscription to access:

Former Senate leaders Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), Bob Dole (R-Kan.) and Howard Baker (R-Tenn.) on Wednesday unveiled a blueprint that includes a public plan compromise and a requirement that all Americans must purchase insurance, a plan they’d like to see their one-time colleagues take up.


Though all three men represent private-sector clients with a stake in the health care debate, they said they arrived at their ideas through negotiations with each other and based on the efforts of their two staff directors, Democrat Chris Jennings, a health care consultant who served in the Clinton administration, and Republican Mark McClellan, who served as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services during the recent Bush administration.

The plan, according to its backers, would ensure health care coverage for all U.S. citizens and legal residents. It would include both individual and employer requirements. The measure would not break the bank, its crafters say, because it also calls for savings with new health care information technologies and with such things as a cap to the employer coverage income tax exclusion.

The Daschle-Dole-Baker plan includes a public plan “compromise” that would allow states the option to establish programs of their own, with technical assistance coming from the federal government. The plan would make the states compete on a “level playing field” with private industry, they said.

Washington Post columnist David Broder writes about how Daschle tried to enlist Bob Dole's help in a bi-partisan effort to come up with health care reform during the Clinton administration. With interviews of Daschle and Dole, lhe details why the effort failed. And he tells how the men came to an agreement this time around.

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