WASHINGTON–House Democrats today picked up two key votes needed to push healthcare reform legislation through the Congress.
At the same time, House and Senate Republicans said they will hold a rare joint meeting Thursday as part of their efforts to defeat the health reform measure. A vote on legislation that mostly resembles the bill passed by the Senate on Christmas Eve is expected as early as Friday in the House.
Meanwhile, in an op-ed piece in The Baltimore Sun, Edward Miller, CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine and dean of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, said his institution supports passage of the bill.
“We believe that a vote for passage will finally bring us closer to the reality of expanding coverage to 30 million people Americans presently without insurance,” he said.
“We are at a point at which the inequities and injustices of a system that leaves tens of millions of Americans without health insurance are no longer acceptable,” Miller said.
These types of inequities that led to the founding of Johns Hopkins Hospital, today and our decision today mirrors the mission bequeathed to us more than a century ago,” he added.
In one key switch, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, said he will vote for healthcare legislation.
Rep. Kucinich, a liberal, had opposed the bill because it did not contain a public option.
And, in another key switch, Rep. Dale Kildee, D-Mich., a strong opponent of abortion, said that he was satisfied with the provisions in the Senate-passed health care bill that seek to limit the use of federal money for insurance coverage of abortion, and that he would vote for the bill.