September is here and Congress is back in session next week. There are still many unanswered health reform questions. Last week, the Kaiser Health Network reported on Senator Chuck Grassley’s view of next steps; “If town meetings are going to mean anything, if democracy is going to mean anything, then you listen to your people and you act accordingly,” Grassley said. “When we go back in September it may not be the exactly the same way when we left on Aug. 6. So we’ve got a situation where there may be some change in direction. It could be dramatic or it could be just a little course correction.”
The Senator’s sentiments on the direction of health care reform, puts us at the edge of our seats with great anticipation. The Senate Finance Committee, the committee challenged with finding financing options for health care reform has not introduced legislation. According to Amy Maeder, a mom with two boys with hemophilia, Senator Grassley was uncertain when members of the Senate Finance Committee would introduce their version of a bill. Amy traveled over 130-miles to attend two town-hall meetings in Iowa last month. She had the opportunity to ask several questions which included inquiring about the release of a bill from the Senate Finance Committee.
It’s certainly difficult to predict exactly what will happen. The current timeline, content and cost are of great concern to the public, albeit all will probably change. Several measures, such as the public option, have been the center of controversy over the last month. Many members of Congress have expressed the need for change in the current bills. Some Senators have requested specific measures for inclusion in the Senate Finance bill. Senator Grassley believes that an overhaul of the health care system will be sent to President Obama by Christmas. Time will tell all as we continue to see what’s next.