Thanks for visiting my Congressional web site. My staff and I have compiled information about the work I do in Washington and in the 8th Congressional district of Massachusetts.
You may learn the status of key legislation, check out what’s happening in Congress on any given day and become familiar with the communities I represent. We’ve also provided links to sites that you might be interested in visiting.
As always, if you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact me. It is my honor to represent the people of Boston, Cambridge, Chelsea and Somerville.
7/31 – On Friday, July 31, the House considered H.R. 3269: Corporate and Financial Institution Compensation Fairness Act. I voted YES.
July 31, 2009
The House adjourned for its August recess without casting a vote on health care reform. Given all the divisions that still exist on many issues, I think it was fair and prudent to postpone floor consideration until the Fall.
There were, however, some fairly significant developments that starkly illustrate just how difficult it is proving to be to forge an acceptable compromise. Some conservative Democrats (self-named Blue Dogs) on the House Energy and Commerce Committee reached key agreements with Committee Chair Rep. Henry Waxman but that action prompted opposition from me and other Members of the House.
I signed a letter to Speaker Pelosi along with 58 Members, mostly from the Congressional Progressive Caucus, expressing strong opposition to the Blue Dog agreement. Although a public option is still on the table, the reimbursement rate would not be based on the current Medicare reimbursement rates. Rather, the Secretary of Health and Human Services would be charged with setting the rate. It is still unclear what factors would be considered in the decision-making process. It is easy to see some providers simply refusing to accommodate those choosing the public option because of potentially lower reimbursement rates. Other aspects of that agreement would increase costs to low and moderate income Americans while at the same time protecting the profits of health insurance companies.
At this writing, the House Energy and Commerce Committee is still marking up the bill. Once that markup is complete, the bill will have to be reconciled with the two versions passed out of the House Committees on Ways and Means and Education and Labor. The Senate must also produce a single bill, to be considered when Members return in the Fall. During the month of August, I plan to thoroughly review all aspects of health care legislation. As always, I am interested in any feedback you may have on this issue.