Health Bill Snags on Opposition to Medicare Buy-In

Snowe, Lieberman, Nelson skeptical
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2009 4:08 AM CST
Updated Dec 11, 2009 7:13 AM CST
Health Bill Snags on Opposition to Medicare Buy-In
Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., walks in the Capitol before heading into a Democratic caucus on health care reform in Washington last month.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Three senators uneasy about the proposed Medicare expansion in the health care bill could derail Harry Reid's hopes of getting the bill wrapped up before Christmas. Olympia Snowe, Ben Nelson, and Joe Lieberman—a Republican, a Democrat, and an independent—have expressed varying degrees of misgivings about the proposal and are seeking more information, Politico reports.

Snowe says she has serious concerns about the proposal, especially concerning lower reimbursement rates for medical providers. “I just think that is the wrong direction to take," she said. Lieberman fears that letting people over 55 buy into Medicare will affect its fiscal viability and result in higher premiums for people already in the program. Reid will have two weeks to tweak the proposal when it comes back from the Congressional Budget Office next week. (Read more Medicare stories.)

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