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Is a Public Option With Negotiated Rates Worthless?

October 31, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has decided to include a watered-down version of the public option in the health care bill to win over votes from moderate Democrats. But the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office says that her version would actually have higher premiums than what is offered through private plans.

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Free the House Health Care Bill!

October 30, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The Democratic leadership in the House has pledged to post their final health care bill online at least 72 hours before beginning debate. But if they truly want to be open and transparent, they should free the bill from PDF and make it fully available in an open format so that it's available for anyone to use however they want to.

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Congress Links

October 29, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

CBO Scores the new House health care bill. Republican Senators ask Harry Reid to put the Senate bill online. Hoyer says Republicans can have a vote on an alternative health care proposal. And Harry Reid asks progressives to pressure their members of Congress on the public option. That and more in today's roundup of links on Congress.

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Miek Lillis at the Washington Independent has the latest on the Senate Republicans' tactics for delaying passage of the unemployment benefits extension bill (H.R. 3548): Moments ago, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) shot down a motion by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to proceed to legislation extending federal unemployment insurance by up to 20 weeks in the states hit hardest by the recession. It marks the fourth time in three weeks that GOP leaders have prevented the bill ...

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"TARP on Steroids"

October 29, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Rep. Brad Sherman [D, CA-27] has big problems with Rep. Barney Frank's [D, MA-4] "too big to fail" bill: Let’s not Adopt TARP on Steroids The new Resolution Authority, set forth in Treasury’s 253-page legislative draft of October 27, 2009 provides permanent, unlimited bailout authority. This means: (1) Unprecedented powers for the executive to decide spending and taxes, without congressional approval; and (2) Depending on the desires of the Executive Branch from time to time, the grea...

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For the last few weeks, Democrats in both chambers have been talking more and more often about taking away the insurance industry's long-standing exemption from federal antitrust laws. The release of the new House health care bill reveals that Rep. Nancy Pelosi [D, CA-8] has officially decided to move ahead with these threats. The language she included in the new bill is a little different than the stand-alone version of the bill that has been moving through committees in the House. Here's the t...

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An Open Internet

October 29, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

At OpenCongress, we are fully behind the principles of net neutrality and an open internet. We rely on them to make this site possible. So we're happy to see the site show up in this great new video from Jesse Dylan explaining the importance of maintaining the internet as a free and open space: ...

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Pelosi Set to Unveil Final House Health Care Bill

October 28, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

On Thursday morning, Democratic leaders will unveil the final version of the health care legislation that be voted on by the full House during the week of Novemember 2nd. UPDATE: And here it is:

H.R. 3962 - Affordable Health Care for America Act

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Lieberman Doesn't Understand the Public Option

October 28, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Sen. Joseph Lieberman [I, CT] went on Fox this afternoon to restate his intentions to filibuster a health care bill that includes a public option. But his reasons for opposing the public option are not grounded in an understanding of what the public option actually is.

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After a month of delay, the Senate this afternoon approved a motion to move forward on their bill to extend unemployment insurance benefits (H.R. 3548). The motion to overcome Republican objections and proceed to an official debate of the bill was approved by a vote of 87-13.

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Unemployment Extension Vote Live-Blog

October 27, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Senate Democrats have scheduled a big vote this afternoon to move forward with their bill to extend unemployment insurance benefits (H.R. 3548), which has been blocked by Republicans for the past month. I'll be live-blogging the vote here. Stay tuned!

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Private-Jet Populism

October 27, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Republicans in Congress have introduced a resolution honoring the Tea Party protesters, which you can read in full here. Here's one of its clauses (emphasis mine): Whereas hundreds of buses, multiple caravans of cars from across the country, and many individually chartered flights, as well as thousands of lone-traveling cars and trucks, brought these patriots to Washington, DC, solely for this event; ...

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House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer [D, MD-5] said today that the House's health care bill will probably include a less progressive version of the public option plan than what they included in the bill they originally submitted to the committees.

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"Death Panels for Banks"

October 26, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

More information about Congress' legislation for dealing with the "too big to fail" issue in the financial industry is beginning to filter out. McClatchy: Lawmakers won't give the independent Federal Reserve as many powers as President Barack Obama had proposed, according to a senior congressional staffer, sharing details with McClatchy on the condition of anonymity because the emerging bill hasn't been made public. The measure, which tackles some of the thorniest issues of bank oversight, is ...

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Democrats have been threatening to take away the health insurance industry's exemption from federal antitrust laws, but, so far, there's no real evidence that doing so would actually have any effect.

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