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July 28, 2009

It's Official: No Vote on ObamaCare Before Recess
And It's Also Official: "Co-ops" Just Public Option by Another Name, Said Harry Reid Three Weeks Ago

Memo: No health vote before recess Democratic leaders have apparently thrown in the towel -- telling their Republican counterparts that there will be no health care vote on the House floor before the August recess starts this Friday, according a Republican memo obtained by POLITICO.

The memo:

From: Cavicke, David
Sent: Tuesday, July 28, 2009 4:51 PM
To: REDACTED
Subject: Schedule

Democratic Leadership has told Mr. Boehner's staff that there will be no vote on Health on the Floor before recess and we will leave Friday.
We still have no confirmation of plans to resume or end the Committee Markup.

David L. Cavicke
Republican Chief of Staff
Committee on Energy and Commerce

Via AHFF Geoff.

Also, it's official: On July 9th, Dingy Harry Reid said that the "quasi-public co-op" might just be the way to smuggle in public option past the city gates.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NY, told reporters Thursday that a system of nonprofit cooperatives could pass as a “public option,” or government-run health care, depending on how they are set up.

We’re going to have some type of public option, call it ‘co-op’, call it what you want,” Reid said, adding that Democrats are working on “some verison of a co-op that may satisfy everyone.”

This is not likely to please the legions of liberal Democrats clamoring for a plan fully-setup and managed by the federal government.

Reid has said something fairly similar to this before, but this comes one day after he met at the White House with Vice President Joe Biden, top health care advisor Nancy-Ann DeParle, and Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina

The co-op plan, authored by Sen Kent Conrad, D-ND, is still being tinkered with, but, working with Sen Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and other Democrats, some changes have been agreed to — like a major infusion of federal dollars at the beginning and an initial governing board set up by the feds with federal involvement. One point of contention, however, has been how long government officials remain on the board. Conrad has contended that the board should eventually be run solely by participants. Schumer and others have sought a continued government presence, trying to create a quasi-public option.

We don’t care what it’s called. We need something that’s going to keep the insurance companies honest,” Schumer said, adding that any co-op plan must also “be available right at the beginning, have competition…and have the strength to bargain.” Schumer said the negotiations “are going pretty well.”


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