After the jump, a statement from Raúl Grijalva on the President’s new health care plan:
I appreciate the president working to move the health care agenda forward. Given the gridlock produced by constant Republican obstructionism, the White House’s continued effort to reach a meaningful solution is welcome. The president’s plan includes several essential elements – including efforts to hold down premium increases and eliminating the special Nebraska deal in the original Senate bill – that I think are vital.
I and many other progressives would enthusiastically support the bill if a public option, which would provide insurance industry competition and greatly reduce the deficit, were a higher priority. I am also concerned that affordability credits are not sufficient for many working Americans who often have to choose between health care and other equally basic expenses each month. Insurance industry regulations in the bill could be stronger, and I will look carefully at the outcome of final negotiations on this point.
I look forward to finalizing a reform package that will give all Americans adequate, reliable health care access. Although the president’s bill does not include certain elements that I consider fundamental to successful reform, I applaud his commitment to the issue and fully expect to work with other lawmakers to produce a strong final product that we can be proud of.