Big Deal?July 31, 2009 - by Donny Shaw
“We have agreed we need to pull together,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, D-Calif. Liberals, moderates, and conservatives negotiated late into the night Thursday to reach a deal that would restore some subsidies to help low-to-middle income people pay their health insurance premiums, would preserve a strong public insurance option, and would cut drug costs more deeply, Waxman said. […]
The last-minute agreement mollified liberals who were outraged by a deal Waxman struck earlier in the week with conservatives known as the Blue Dog Democrats. Friday, lawmakers from both camps joined him to say they were now in accord.
UPDATE: CQ has some more details now. Essentially, the Blue Dogs get to keep the concession they won earlier in the week requiring the government to negotiate rates for their public insurance option directly with private companies. The main thing liberals and moderates in the Energy and Commerce Committee seem to have won today is an agreement to restore subsidies to low income households for buying health insurance. With this deal in place, the committee is expected to pass the bill later this afternoon.
Remember, this is just an agreement within the Energy and Commerce Committee where the Blue Dogs yield proportionally more influence than they do among the House Democratic Caucus overall. More on that here.