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It's Not Not an Option

July 16, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

This editorial from Business Investor's Daily, which I noticed this morning but basically dismissed, is actually beginning to have some impact in the blogs. It's the top item on Memeorandum right now, for example. The editorial reads, in part: It's Not An Option It didn't take long to run into an "uh-oh" moment when reading the House's "health care for all Americans" bill. Right there on Page 16 is a provision making individual private medical insurance illegal. When we first saw the par...

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Blue Dogs Threaten to Block the Healthcare Bill

July 16, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 is scheduled for three separate committee mark-ups today. In one of the committees a bloc of conservative Blue Dog Democrats is threatening to vote with Republicans to block the bill unless some major changes are made to the bill's principle provisions.

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1,018 Pages of Health Care Reform - Dig in!

July 15, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Now that the Democrats have officially introduced into Congress a gigantic health care bill, America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, it's time for the rest of us to dig in and see what's in it. We have the complete legislative text on OpenCongress and the tools that make it easy to examine it together.

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There are maybe two Republicans in the Senate who might be open to some version of Obama's health care legislation. Besides that, every Republican in Congress seems to have already decided that they will vote against any of the proposals being floated. But that doesn't mean the bill can't be passed. Democrats have a procedural option that would allow them to pass the bill without any Republican support, and the Obama Administration now is coming out sand saying that they are not afraid to use it.

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At a press conference just moments ago, House Democrats unveiled their health care reform bill. View the bill here:

H.R. 3200 – America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009

The bill seeks to expand health care coverage to the approximately 40 million Americans who are currently uninsured by lowering the cost of health care and making the system more efficient.

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Blue Dogs Don't Want a Public Option That Works

July 10, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

House Democrats' unveiling of their final version of health care legislation was scheduled for today. But a group of Blue Dog Democrats threw a wrench in the plans with a last-minute list of objections, including major concerns over the structuring of the central "public option."

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Today begins what is probably the most important month in Congress and the Obama Administration's work on reforming the health care system and addressing the issue of climate change. On August 7, Congress will leave for a month-long recess. Between now and then, they hope to pass bills for both of those issues in both chambers, confirm Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court and finalize work on a number of appropriations bills that are necessary to keep the government up and running. Below is a quick update on where things stand with four of the biggest issues currently before Congress -- health care, climate change, financial regulatory reform and immigration.

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Better Budget Numbers for Health Care

July 2, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Good news for those that support a public health care option. Apparently, when you throw a public option into the health care reform fray, along with a plan to tax large companies that don't provide health care, the cost of action becomes much less and covers more people. The Associated Press reports: Democrats on a key Senate Committee outlined a revised and far less costly health care plan Wednesday night that includes a government-run insurance option and an annual fee on employers who ...

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Time to Pass Some Bills

June 24, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

In the past few days Democratic leaders in Congress and the White House seem to be taking a new approach to the two biggest issues in Congress - just get a bill passed.

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More Health Care Negotiating

June 23, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

This is up for interpretation (from subscription-only CongressDaily): Snowe, Schumer Working On Public Option As the Senate Finance Committee continues to search for bipartisan compromises to complete its healthcare overhaul legislation, Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, said today she is working on a tweaked fallback option for the public insurance plan with Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. "Sen. Schumer and I have been working on sort of a guaranteed affordable care mechanism in the event that ...

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A new poll showing overwhelming support for a public health care option has some powerful Senate Democrats pushing harder to include it in their bill.

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Compare Health Care Bills

June 19, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

As I reported earlier, the House released a draft of their health care bill today, which means that there are now three variations on reform working their way through Congress - Senate Finance, Senate HELP, and the tri-committee House. Igor Volsky at Wonk Room has done us all a nice favor by taking the main features of each of the variations and put them in a chart for comparison's sake. The chart certainly makes the Senate Finance version look like the oddball in the bunch, assuming that all ...

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House Health Care Reform Draft Bill

June 19, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Today, the three House committees that have been working on a House version of a health care reform bill released a discussion draft version. Expectation was that the House bill would go further than either the Senate HELP or Senate Finance versions by including a robust public option, and that does in fact seem to be the case.

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There's a lot happening on the Hill this week, and we'll be covering it all and providing links to others who are covering it as best we can. With so much happening, I thought it would be useful to take a step back for a big-picture look at how Congress' next few months are shaping up. Click through for an update on where things stand with four of the biggest issues currently before Congress -- health care reform, climate change, financial regulatory reform and immigration.

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Senate Democrats, unlike their counterparts in the House, might not have 60 votes to pass health care reform legislation if it includes a public option to compete with private insurers. Some centrists in the Senate a considering a compromise "co-op" plan, but health care reform advocates think there might be a way to pass the public option without compromising at all.

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