Politics

Rangel says Senate doesn't worry him on health care

Work on a plan to overhaul the nation’s health care system faces gridlock in the U.S. Senate. But recalcitrant senators won’t stop House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-NY) from forging ahead to craft a health care reform plan.

 

Rangel’s one of three committee chairs tasked by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to design a health care reform package. And the New York Democrat appears unfazed by the Senate loggerheads.

 

“The House should not ignore the Senate. But not concentrate on what the Senate may or may not do,” Rangel said. “I don’t have time to really think about the complexities of the Senate.”

 

Rangel said his foremost goal was to move a plan through the House. The tentative schedule is for Rangel’s committee and the Energy and Commerce and Education and Labor Committees to draft bills next week.

 

House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (D-CT) says he hopes leaders can roll out specifics of a plan in the next few days.

 

“We have more than our share of available Democratic votes,” Rangel said. “To get them (on board) is our job.”