Despite claims of a "significant breakthrough" on their health care overhaul bill, House leaders still face trouble from dissident Democrats who have blocked action in a key committee.
Democrats spread out in a health offensive in the wake of President Obama's health care press conference, as lawmakers revived their attacks on Republican ideas for a health overhaul, decried insurance industry practices, talked up the value of an independent commission to curb Medicare spending and brought in "real people" in to make the case for change.
House Democratic leaders are showing cold feet on a plan to tax the wealthy to finance a health care overhaul and may rewrite the legislation to seek more savings from payment changes in Medicare and Medicaid. The bill's surtax on high earners, meanwhile, could be adjusted so that it is only implemented if expected savings don't materialize.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Senate will wait until September to take up a health care overhaul, but the Finance Committee will vote before the August recess. Reid said he would oversee blending the Finance version with the bill approved July 15 by the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee on a party-line vote.