This week will start with the federal health reform debate going to another level, as Senator Ted Kennedy introduces his bill for health reform in the U.S. Senate Committee on Health Education Labor and Pensions. It’s only the first, not the last, word in the debate: Senator Baucus’ Finance Committee will likely have a bill, as will their counterparts in the House of Representatives.
Also in the Kennedy clan, Governor Schwarzenegger will go in a completely different direction, presenting a speech on Tuesday about the budget–and likely defending his cuts-only budget that would lead to over 2 million more uninsured and other devastation.
The Budget Conference Committee will take up the health cuts for discussion (and possible vote) on Friday, June 5th.
We’ll also have coverage through the week of the legislative session, as bills are up for final floor votes before the end-of-week deadline.
Other items of note:
* According to the New York Times, hospitals are starting to mobilize against any “charity care” provisions in health reform, the notion that in return for nonprofit, tax-exempt status, hospitals have special obligations to serve the uninsured.
* I am having a back-and-forth at KQED’s Healthy Ideas forum that gets ideological quickly, rather than focusing on how we can secure and expand coverage to people, and in an efficient way.
* Back in print media, we have a new op-ed in Capitol Weekly, suggesting the disconnect between the Governor’s previous support for health reform, and his current budget stance.