First Pelosi, and now Hoyer:
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) says there is no truth to reports that President Barack Obama will press Congress to pass a significantly smaller healthcare reform bill.
"I don't have reason to believe that that's accurate," Hoyer told The Hill following a speech at a Federation of American Hospitals conference Tuesday.
With Obama slated to make an announcement Wednesday on a final path forward to complete the year-long healthcare reform effort, several media outlets have reported that he will set aside the bills passed by the House and Senate and unveil a new, smaller proposal that would expand federal healthcare programs and make some other reforms but no seek the comprehensive overhaul for which Democrats have been striving.
If there is no new, smaller bill, why didn't the White House make that clear when contacted by media yesterday? Instead, Melody Barnes said a new bill of some sort would "borrow" from conversations from the health-care summit, and threw everyone into speculation mode about the president's new plan.
For the life of me, I haven't been able to spot the communications wizardry Obama was so lauded for on the campaign trail in his administration's year-long, clumsy health-care pitch. The irony is that this scaled-down bill that apparently doesn't exist would have been just the kind of thing that likely would have sailed through both houses back when Obama first started pitching health-care reform and was at the peak of his popularity.