Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, just released a statement that says he'll cast the vote the majority needs this weekend to get the ball rolling on the health care reform debate -- but that doesn't mean he will support the bill.
“My vote for final passage of this bill is not at all guaranteed until I see a final bill that is strong and effective for working families and taxpayers in Vermont and America,” said Sanders, a member of the Senate health committee.
He said he hasn't given up on getting some provision that would give states permission to go forward with their own single payer systems.
Here's his list of "demands" for inclusion in the bill.
• Funding for major restructuring of primary health care.
• Assurance more people can participate in new insurance exchanges and other measures to bolster the public option.
• Requirements that health insurance, including out-of-pocket expenses, is affordable.
• Inclusion of cost-containment provisions.
• Assurance that the $800 billion to $1 trillion needed to pay for the program over 10 years is raised in a fair and progressive way.
• Elimination of the so-called doughnut hole gap in coverage under the Medicare prescription drug program.
• Reduced costs for prescription drugs.
• Maintenance of a woman’s right to choose an abortion.
Some of these are pretty broad. Others are very specific. Which ones do you think really have to be in a bill that to win Sanders vote?
-- Nancy Remsen
Labels: health care, Sen. Bernie Sanders