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Healthcare Around the World

August 24, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Since we've been looking at elements of healthcare reform at a pretty micro level, arguing about single lines within a 1,000+ page bill that may or may not be voted on by Congress, this Fresh Air interview is good for getting us some healthy perspective on where we're at and where we're thinking about going: ...

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Congress Links

August 24, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Senator Baucus claims he actually supports a public option. Democrats have begun considering a new single-bill reconciliation strategy. Auditing the Federal Reserve is finally gaining supporters in the Senate. And health care reform supporters join the bring-your-gun-to-a-protest trend. Than and more in today's roundup of links on Congress.

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Dems Prepared to Go it Alone

August 24, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

With bipartisan healthcare negotiation strained and growing more difficult each day, Democratic leaders in Congress are getting serious about using a legislative procedure that would let them to pass a bill without any Republican support.

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Stewart and McCaughey Talk Death Panels

August 21, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

New York Former Lieutenant Governor Betsy McCaughey, the person responsible for the "death panel" myth about the health care bill, went on the Daily Show last night to defend her position. Follow along and she and Jon Stewart dissect the legislative text on advanced care planning consultations.

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Real Fed Transparency

August 21, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Ron Paul's bill to bill to audit the Federal Reserve would make new information about the central bank's activities available to members of Congress. OpenCongress users have suggested a simple improvement to the bill to make the Fed truly transparent.

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What is the Public Option?

August 20, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Is the public option a trojan horse for single-payer health care, or is it a key element to reforming the current system - a way to keep private companies in check and make health insurance more affordable?

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Over the past six months or so, I've seen an occasional e-mail about SB 2099, a bill that would supposedly require gun owners to declare their firearms on tax forms. During the past few days, however, the volume of questions about the bill has increased. So, I thought I would write a bit about SB 2099 to try and set the record straight.

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Congress Links

August 19, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Barney Frank takes on fringe LaRouche health care protesters. John McCain loses his maverick edge. Anonymous White House staffers trash the Left's dedication to the public option. And Harry Reid's spokesman says they'll get health care done by any legislative means necessary. That and more in today's roundup of links on Congress.

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Who Counts On Cloture?

August 19, 2009 - by Paul Blumenthal

While the guns of august rage at town halls throughout the country, pundits in Washington and staffers in Congress and the White House are busy counting heads to see if the object of all that fear and loathing, health care reform, has a shot at becoming law. The topic du jour is whether the Senate can overcome the 60 vote threshold of a cloture vote. Despite concerns among Democrats that they won't be able to reach the 60 vote threshold to avoid a filibuster, very few Democrats have defected on cloture votes (the vote that bypasses a filibuster) so far this year.

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The Lies Are Working

August 19, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

A new poll indicates that a majority of Americans have bought into the lies about the health care bill that have been spread by its opponents.

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Introducing OC's New Blogger

August 19, 2009 - by Paul Blumenthal

Hello Open Congress people. My name is Paul Blumenthal and I'll be your new friendly neighborhood blogger. I currently write at the Sunlight Foundation blog about a number of issues, but most prominently the influence and money that surrounds Congress. I also do a lot of data driven reporting and hope to bring that over here to the Open Congress blog.

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The second most powerful Republican in the Senate on Tuesday called the co-op health insurance compromise a "trojan horse" for a government-run system and said that Republicans won't be voting for any health care bill that is even remotely similar to what has been being developed in the committees.

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Progressives Getting Tough on Health Care

August 18, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The plan for a public health insurance option took a beating over the weekend from members of the Senate and the Obama Administration. In response, progressives in the House have drawn a new line in the sand... no health care bill without a public option.

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Health Care Bill in a Flow Chart

August 17, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Here's a good flowchart from Nick Beaudrot showing how the health care bill (H.R. 3200) would expand insurance coverage: This is the basic skeleton of the bill, and knowing it is crucial for understanding how all the finer points in the bill fit in. Where the chart says "new consumer protections," it is referring to the minimum standards for a qualified health benefits plan, which, once the bill takes effect, would have to be all insurance that is not grandfathered. All the information abo...

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Sen. Chuck Grassley [R, IA] on August 10th: In the House bill, there's counseling for end-of-life. And, from that standpoint, you have every right to fear. You shouldn't have counseling at the end of life. You ought to have counseling twenty years before you are going to die. You ought to plan these things out, and, you know, I don't have any problems with things like living wills, but they ought to be done within the family. We should not have a government program that determines when you're...

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