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NFRW Political Briefing

2009 July 22
by WCR President Linda Stanton



 Political Briefing

Legislative News for the Week of July 20, 2009 



 Just this week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), told Democrats that they are on track to pass a health care “overhaul” before the August Congressional break. There are several bills currently on the table. On Wednesday, July 15, 2009, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee voted (13-10) and passed a $600 billion version that would expand coverage to almost all Americans by requiring individuals to get insurance and employers to help cover the costs. The Senate Finance Committee is also working to present a version of the bill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wants floor debate, on these bills, to begin by July 20. President Obama and the Democrats are trying to pass the bill by the August congressional break.

 The House Democrats’ health care proposal was also unveiled last week. Their plan calls for the federal government to be responsible for ensuring that every person (regardless of income or state of their health) has access to an affordable insurance plan. It also calls for a 5.4% tax increase on individuals making more than $1 million and a gradual tax beginning on individuals who make $280,000. Employers who fail to provide health coverage will be faced with a penalty equal to 8% of the worker’s wages, with an exemption for small businesses. Take a look at the Organizational Chart of the House Democrat’s Health Plan to see the web of bureaucracy this proposal creates.

One of the biggest questions is …How will health care reform be funded? The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report clearly explains the “cost explosion” that would occur under the House Democrats’ proposal. Currently, the federal government cannot afford existing health care commitments. The Democrats have failed to answer how we will fund the additional health care programs implemented under these proposals. Read it here.


On Tuesday, President Obama hosted a meeting with conservative Democrats over the costs of potential health care legislation. They emerged with no new statement on how health care reform will be funded. On July 28, the Senate will vote on Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination. On Tuesday, the Senate approved an amendment to cancel the purchase of 7 additional F-22’s in the 2010 Defense Department budget.

 CAP ALERT: Health Care

 This week the NFRW issued a CAP ALERT on the health care debate. Please make sure to contact Representatives and Senators to tell them we support health care reform-but not this approach! Make sure YOUR voice is heard.

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