Mary Agnes Carey has covered health reform and federal health policy for more than 15 years as an editor at CQ HealthBeat
, as Capitol Hill Bureau Chief for Congressional Quarterly
and at Dow Jones Newswires. A frequent radio and television commentator, recently featured on the Nightly Business Report, the PBS NewsHour and on NPR affiliates nationwide, Mary Agnes has a thorough understanding of both the policy and politics of health reform. She worked for newspapers in Connecticut and Pennsylvania, and has a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University. | Contact: MaryAgnesC@kff.org | @MaryAgnesCarey
The Senate Finance Committee Thursday agreed to delay the penalties for people who don't comply with a requirement to have health insurance. Some lawmakers want no penalties at all. But insurers worry that weakening the mandate will mean people will delay getting coverage, it would be more difficult to keep costs down.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus unveiled a health care bill today that would require most people to have health insurance and would bar insurance companies from discriminating against people with medical problems.
Video Highlights Of The News Conference | Mary Agnes Carey Discusses What The New Bill Means
Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Finance Committee, says that mounting public concern about the federal deficit and government spending could hurt prospects for a bipartisan health care overhaul deal when Congress returns to work next month.
Proposals to move disadvantaged youngsters from the Children's Health Insurance Program to health exchanges raise concerns that benefits would be reduced.
Although some Democratic party stalwarts still urge administration to hold out for a comprehensive health care bill, others say a defeat in Congress could be politically disastrous.
The House Minority Leader suggested that the drug-industry pact with President Obama, whom he called a "bully" - will backfire on industry and consumers. The GOP has its own health bill, which Boehner announced on June 17.
Democratic and Republican lawmakers will offer their constituents very different takes on pending health care legislation during the August recess. Democrats will say the bills will “hold insurance companies accountable” and guarantee lower costs and more choice, while the Republicans will warn against a government takeover that will undermine competition and drive up costs.
An agreement between the House leadership and conservative Democrats sparked protests from states worried about higher Medicaid costs and liberals upset about the paring back of subsidies.
After weeks of painstaking talks, Democrats celebrated breakthroughs on health care overhaul on both sides of the Capitol. Yet many lawmakers and health care experts said that yesterday's events marked only one step on the very bumpy road to a final deal that President Barack Obama might sign into law.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., said Wednesday that a preliminary Congressional Budget Office score of his panel's draft health care overhaul package would cost under $900 billion over the next decade and provide health coverage to 95 percent of uninsured Americans.