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Marketplace Morning Report

Health care reform hit with recess

Dan Grech Jul 31, 2009
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TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: President Obama said he wanted a health care reform bill before Congress took its summer break. Well, it’s recess time, but still no bill. What will a five-week timeout on Capitol Hill mean for health care reform? Here’s Marketplace’s Dan Grech.


Dan Grech: President Obama managed to bring on board a lot of drug makers and hospitals. But it was members of his own party that took health care reform off the fast track. Fiscally conservative House Democrats, the so-called Blue Dogs, persuaded the Obama administration to postpone a vote until September.

Henry Aaron: They’ve decided to go back and take the pulse of the electorate before they come back and take what for many will be a quite difficult vote.

That’s Henry Aaron with the Brookings Institution.

In the coming weeks, critics will argue the reforms under consideration are too expensive and pave the way for socialized medicine. The Obama administration will counter that it’s far more costly to do nothing. Aaron says the debate could swing either way.

Aaron: One day, it looks like the administration is in terrible trouble. The next day, it sounds like a deal is on the verge of being struck. The jury is out as to which side is going to prevail in this fight.

Come September, the Blue Dogs will have their day — at least in terms of being a critical swing vote.

I’m Dan Grech for Marketplace.

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