The White House has indicated it will release its own draft health care reform legislation shortly before the Feb. 25 televised health summit. President Obama, members of his administration and the congressional participants invited to the summit will discuss health care reform and the agreements needed from both parties before Congress can pass comprehensive legislation.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius unveiled a report on Thursday on health insurance premium increases, including details on requested increases in Connecticut, Maine, Michigan, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington.
President Obama signed an executive order on Feb. 18 to establish a bipartisan deficit commission. The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform is tasked with forging consensus on how to reduce budget deficits to three percent of gross domestic product by 2015. Erskine Bowles, a former White House chief of staff, and Alan Simpson, a former U.S. senator, will lead the 18-member panel, which is expected to examine federal entitlement programs.
The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the House Energy and Commerce Committee has scheduled a hearing for Feb. 24 to hear from WellPoint President Angela Brady after Anthem Blue Cross, a subsidiary of WellPoint, made plans to increase rates by as much as 39 percent for almost 800,000 individual health insurance customers in California.