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Bipartisanship at its Best

September 30, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

If you're a dedicated C-Span watcher, you probably alreday know that "death panels" are the new area of bipartisan consensus for health care reform. We've know for a while that the Democrats support them: And if you were watching yesterday, you'd know that the Republicans are now supporting them too: That's Rep. Alan Gray son [D, FL-8]. Expect to see his name on a Republican-sponsored resolution in the hopper soon. ...

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Carper's Compromise

September 30, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Sen. Tom Carper [D, DE], one of the surprise "yes" votes on Schumer's "level playing field" public option amendment yesterday, is floating his own public option compromise. Politico reports: In a one-page document he began circulating last week, Carper suggests giving states the option of creating a competitor to private insurers, which could include a government plan, a network of co-ops, or a large purchasing pool modeled after the revered Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan. [...] In ...

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Finance Committee Rejects Abortion Amendment

September 30, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The Senate Finance Committee today rejected an amendment from Sen. Orrin Hatch [R, UT] that would have prohibited federal subsidies from being used to buy insurance plans that include coverage for abortions. If women wanted the coverage, the amendment would require them to purchase it separately as an unsubsidized supplemental plan, called a rider.

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In the continuing health care debate the public option remains as the key puzzle piece in the Democrats' health care package. Today, the Senate Finance Committee is debating and voting on amendments to include a public option in their version of health care reform legislation.

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Earlier I posted my initial take on the Finance Committee's rejection today of two amendments that would have added a public option plan to their bill. Basically, I said that health care reform is at a critical juncture - either the Finance Committee somehow reports out a bill that can get 60 votes on the floor, or the Democrats go the reconciliation route and pass a bill with a strong public option. I'm seeing a lot of differing takes filtering in tonight on where things stand with the publi...

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Public Option Rejected Twice - What Happens Next?

September 29, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The Senate Finance Committee's health care bill officially will not include a public option. Today, the Committee rejected amendments from Democrats Jay Rockefeller and Chuck Schumer to replace the bill's co-op proposal with a public option like the other health care bills in Congress.

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The Schumer Public Option Amendment

September 29, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Read the full text of the Sen. Charles Schumer's [D, NY] public option amendment to the Baucus health care bill currently being debated by the Senate Finance Committee.

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The Rockefeller Public Option Amendment

September 29, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Here's the full text of the amendment from Sen. Jay Rockefeller [D, WV] to add a public option to the Baucus health care bill that is being debated right now.

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Senate Finance Mark-Up, Week Two

September 29, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The Finance Committee resumes the mark-up of the Baucus health care bill with votes looming on the public option, Sen. Snowe's "trigger" option and more. Watch it live on the OpenCongress bog.

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Congress Links

September 28, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

A key Democrat is planning to undermine the White House's secret deal with big PhRMA. ProPublica has the scoop on how lawmakers actually spend their leadership PAC money. And Democratic senators are finally ready to unveil their climate change bill. That and more in today's roundup of links on Congress.

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Buying Health Insurance Post Reform

September 28, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

One of the things just about every member of Congress and President Obama can agree on for health care reform is creating new "exchanges" where people can comparison shop for insurance plans. Basically, these "exchanges" will be websites where people can plug in their zip codes and some basic information about themselves and get back a list of plans that are available to them, with prices and services laid out side-by-side in a standard format. Think Travelocity.com for health insurance. Two s...

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This Week in Congress: The Big Votes Loom

September 28, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

So far, Sen. Max Baucus' [D, MT] health care bill remains unscathed by major amendments. But the most important amendments are coming up this week as the Senate Finance Committee begins week two of its mark-up. Votes on the public option...

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Huh?

September 25, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Apparently, House Democrats are using today to make a point about Republicans' supposed lack of ideas on health care reform. According to the Politico, today marks 100 days since Rep. Roy Blunt [R, MO-7] said, “I guarantee you we will provide you with a bill.”

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Money Changes Everything

September 25, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The Blue Dog Democrats are all about fiscal conservativism. On their website they write that they are particularly active on "relentlessly pursuing a balanced budget and then protecting that achievement from politically popular "raids" on the budget." That's why this is so effective (from subscription-only Congress Daily): In a bid to wrangle concessions from the Blue Dog Coalition on healthcare reform, House leaders Thursday released CBO estimates for liberals' preferred version of the public...

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The Food and Drug Administration issued a report yesterday admitting that they bowed to "extreme," "unusual" and "persistent" pressure from four NJ Democrats to approave a medical device that has been repeatedly shown to be unsafe.

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