Senior House Dem: Kill Senate health bill

Rep. Louise Slaughter says the Senate should "go back to the drawing board"

Published December 23, 2009 7:37PM (EST)

For now, it looks as though enough House liberals will concede to the harsh reality of the Senate breakdown and pass the upper chamber's version of healthcare reform, albeit perhaps in some slightly modified version. But one senior House Democrat, New York Rep. Louise Slaughter, isn't likely to be one of them.

"The Senate health care bill is not worthy of the historic vote that the House took a month ago," Slaughter, who chairs the House Rules Committee, writes in an Op-Ed published by (Hat-tip to the Hill's Blog Briefing Room.)

Among the reasons she cites for her thinking are the individual mandate that would force Americans to purchase coverage and the lack of a public option — "I believe the Senate went off the rails when it agreed with the Obama Administration to water down the reform bill and no longer include the public option," Slaughter says.

The congresswoman concludes her Op-Ed by writing:

Supporters of the weak Senate bill say "just pass it — any bill is better than no bill."

I strongly disagree — a conference report is unlikely to sufficiently bridge the gap between these two very different bills.

It's time that we draw the line on this weak bill and ask the Senate to go back to the drawing board. The American people deserve at least that.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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