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White House Health Unveils Care Reform Proposal

February 22, 2010 - by Eric Naing

President Obama has released his own health care reform proposal this morning. Some of his new ideas include allowing the government to crack down on insurance rate hikes and a more equal distribution of Medicaid dollars to the states.

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Reid Supports Public Option Reconciliation Plan

February 19, 2010 - by Eric Naing

Has the final shoe dropped in the recent boomlet of enthusiasm for the public option? Greg Sargent posts a statement from the office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [D, NV] offering generic support for passing a public option through the Senate under reconciliation: If a decision is made to use reconciliation to advance health care, Senator Reid will work with the White House, the House, and members of his caucus in an effort to craft a public option that can overcome procedural obstac...

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Previewing the Health Care Summit

February 19, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

We're now just six days away from the big bipartisan, live-on-the-TV health care summit that President Obama will hold next week with leaders from Congress. Here's a quick update on where things stand.

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As of today, 18 Senators have signed a letter supporting the use of the reconciliation process to pass a public option. Now, the president's HHS secretary is implying that he could join the effort as well.

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Congress Links

February 18, 2010 - by Eric Naing

Here are a few articles and blog posts worth checking out today: President Obama today signed an executive order creating his promised bipartisan deficit reduction commission. Heading up the commission are former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles and respected former GOP senator Alan Simpson. (The White House) For all the sturm and drang about the effectiveness of the stimulus package, many don't realize that only a third of it has been spent so far. The Wall Street Journal has a fa...

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Reconciled Health Care Bill to be Released on Monday

February 18, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

The White House and congressional Dems will be releasing a newly negotiated health care bill on Monday that they hope will form the basis of legislation that can pass muster in Congress and get signed into law, the AP reports: The White House and congressional leaders are preparing a detailed health care proposal designed to win passage without Republican support if GOP lawmakers fail to embrace bipartisan compromises at President Barack Obama's summit next week. A senior White House offici...

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More Liberals Push For Public Option Revival

February 18, 2010 - by Eric Naing

The public option, declared dead time and time again throughout the health care reform process, is once again showing faint signs of life. As I mentioned before, four Senate Democrats the week signed onto a letter urging their colleagues to pass the public option through the Senate under reconciliation – a process that requires 51 votes instead of the 60 now mandated by near-constant GOP filibustering. Since the letter was released, 16 Senate Democrats have signed on. The majority of these ...

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Congress Links

February 16, 2010 - by Eric Naing

Even though the House and Senate are in recess until next week, the drama continues on Capitol Hill. Here are a few articles and blog posts of note from the day:

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It's Alive? Liberal Democrats Push Public Option Again

February 16, 2010 - by Eric Naing

Could the public option rise from the grave? Four Democratic Senators have urged Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [D, NV] to use the reconciliation process to revive the idea that was formerly dropped from the Senate health care bill (H.R.3590). In a letter, which you can read here, Sen. Michael Bennet [D, CO], Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand [D, NY], Sen. Jeff Merkley [D, OR] and Sen. Sherrod Brown [D, OH] spell out four reasons for once again pushing the public option: [I]ts potential for b...

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If Democrats can't pass a politically popular bill that doesn't rock the boat, what can they pass? A couple weeks ago, Donny highlighted a bill (H.R.3596) that would revoke the exemption the health insurance and medical malpractice industries enjoy from federal antitrust laws. This measure is part of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's [D, CA-8] “Plan B” strategy of passing smaller, popular health-care-related bills to build momentum for the big health care reform bill (H.R.3590). The health insur...

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Opposed to Even Their Own Ideas

February 16, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

The requirement in the Democrats' health care bills that all individuals have some form of insurance coverage has become a prime target of Republican scorn. But, as NPR's Julie Rovner explains, the idea actually originated with Republicans and enjoyed broad bipartisan support until just recently.

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New, Potentially Final, HCR Bill Soon

February 12, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Friday afternoon, Rahn Emanuel formally invited a couple dozen high-ranking member of Congress to a meeting on reforming health care. According to the invite, the meeting will be broadcast live in its entirety and they'll be discussing four things: "insurance reforms, cost containment, expanding coverage, and the impact health reform legislation will have on deficit reduction." But there will also be some new legislation for the talks to revolve around. From the invite: Since this meeting w...

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Health Care and Reconciliation

February 11, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi [D, CA-8] has been busy firming up the groundwork for finishing health care reform through the budget reconciliation process. "This is what the Republicans did to pass their bills, their tax cuts for the rich,” she said recently. But is budget reconciliation actually meant for this kind of thing?

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Health Care Endgame

February 10, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

An aide to Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi [D, CA-8] outlined an endgame for health care reform to reporters for subscription-only Congress Daily. Politico has posted a significant chunk of the article online. The plan is to use reconciliation to pass a package of conference report-style compromises, than pass the Senate health care and have it signed into law. It' exactly how I explained it a couple weeks ago: 1) House passes a package of changes to the Senate’s health care bill using a budget r...

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Bill Length Hypocrisy

February 10, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

In a conversation yesterday with Ezra Klein, Sen. Lamar Alexander [R, TN] kept calling out the health care bill based on its length. But on other long bills that have been voted on recently in Congress, Sen. Alexander voted "yea."

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