October 30, 2009, Washington , DC
Grijalva Expresses Disappointment With House Bill, Vows Robust Amendment
Congressman Grijalva announced his deep disappointment, yesterday, that a robust public option was not included in the House version of health care reform legislation released on Thursday. He said he would fight for a floor vote on including a robust plan in the bill, which will require approval by leadership and the Rules Committee.
“The best way to structure any public option would be to have sensible, consistent standards, with maximum transparency for taxpayers,” said Grijalva. “The robust version of the public option paying a fair and consistent Medicare-plus-five rate nationwide would undoubtedly achieve those goals. I will push to allow for a vote on a robust public option amendment, because the American people deserve that vote.”
As the process moves forward, Grijalva said, several important measures must be included in any final bill. “We must cap any negotiated rates to achieve more affordable costs for consumers,” he said. “At the same time, we must ensure that all Americans, not just those in certain parts of the country, will be allowed to participate in the public option. This means that opt-out, at the state level, is unacceptable.”
Any successful plan, Grijalva said, “must be one that medical providers can believe in and will join confidently from day one. Any plan based on a trigger will fail.”
The final bill, he said, should do much more than create a public option. “The American people must have a guarantee that health insurance is given the same legal status as the rest of the economy. Completely removing the anti-trust exemption currently enjoyed by the industry must be a priority.”