Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) is the new chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. His committee has already passed its version of health insurance reform, a bill similar to what’s been moving in the House. Yesterday, at his annual steak fry, Harkin predicted the outcome of the final bill:
Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin predicted Sunday that a health care reform bill would pass Congress before Christmas, with Republican votes.
Speaking in Indianola at his annual steak fry fundraiser, Harkin also declared that the legislation would “have a strong public option.”
Establishing government-run insurance plans that Americans would have the option of buying has been one of the most controversial aspects of the health care reform bills before Congress.
It’s good to hear a Democratic Senator sounding strong, forceful and like a Democrat. We’ve heard way too much from Senators Max Baucus and Kent Conrad. Those two have dominated the debate and sold out Democratic principles along the way.
Harkin was accompanied at the steak fry by another real Democrat, Al Franken. Three years ago, this event gave Obama his first taste of presidential buzz back in 2006.