Pelosi: House to craft healthcare reform bill by July

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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
The House of Representatives will have a healthcare reform bill to vote on by the end of July, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said Wednesday. She made the announcement alongside President Barack Obama and other leading Democratic representatives at the White House.

Although both the speaker and the president expressed enthusiasm regarding the goal, neither offered substantive details of what that bill might contain. Pelosi told reporters that their "goal is to have a healthier America," while Obama vowed not to rest "until we've delivered the kind of health care reform that's going to bring down costs for families, improve quality, affordability, accessibility for all Americans." Long-term care leaders have been urging Congress to confront the challenges facing long-term care as it works to reshape the healthcare system.

Conservative "Blue Dog" Democrats, meanwhile, are asking for a greater role in shaping the upcoming healthcare reform, and have sent letters to the leaders of three House committees with oversight on healthcare issues. The group, which espouses fiscal conservatism and social liberalism, told the leaders that up to 100% of tax dollars could go toward Social Security and Medicare by 2040 if nothing is done, and that their "moderate" voices should be heard on healthcare reform, the news outlet Roll Call reported. Today, the Senate Finance Committee is expected to talk through policy options to expand healthcare and make it more affordable.