"Probably not going to happen" | Arkansas Blog

Monday, August 31, 2009

"Probably not going to happen"

Posted By on Mon, Aug 31, 2009 at 4:25 PM

Rep. Mike Ross made a stop at the Clinton School of Public Service today to speak with students and answer their questions about health care reform.  It was a small engagement, reserved for students and members of the media.  Ross said the recent town halls that were held across the state were the "greatest demonstration of democracy seen in a long time."  He spoke about his involvement with the Blue Dog Coalition and described his goals for health reform.   

Ross said his goal was never to kill health care reform completely, but to delay the negotiations until September.  He said he does believe health care reform will happen this year.  Any reform package, Ross said, should allow people to keep their insurance if they like it, make sure the government option is not forced on anyone, not provide federal funding for abortions or illegal aliens and prohibit insurance companies from excluding care for pre-existing conditions.  Even though Ross said afterward that the public option was "probably not going to happen," he said during his remarks that his goal was not to "water down the public option."  Dean of the Clinton School Skip Rutherford told me after the event that Ross had "left the public option on the table."  Yeah, but barely. 

Ross said that some were "fixated on the public option," but in the end it probably wouldn't matter.  He said a health care exchange would be set up to give people different insurance plans to choose from, although he didn't offer many specifics on how this "exchange" would be organized.  Further, he said, the government would provide subsidies to cover health insurance costs for the poor and the working class up to 400 percent of the poverty level.  

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