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Despite months of calling for more transparency and a slower pace with health care reform, Senate Republicans today blocked a Democratic proposal to require all amendments to the health care bill to be posted online for 72 hours before a vote.

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The Congressional Budget Office is out with a somewhat mixed report (.pdf) on how the Senate health care bill would affect insurance premiums. Essentially, the report found that premiums on the individual market would go up, on average, by between 10 and 13 percent. But for the majority of people on the individual market what they would actually have to pay for insurance would be 56 to 59 percent less than what they would have to pay under the current system. That's because of new subsidies i...

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Health Care Reform Moves to the Senate

November 30, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The Senate today comes back from Thanksgiving recess to begin their health care debate. Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid [D, NV] has said that he plans to keep the Senate in session nights and weekends until the debate is over. With senators form both parties preparing amendments to change almost every aspect of the 2,074 page bill and Republicans vowing a "holy war" to prevent its passage, the debate that begins today is expected to be one of the longest and most contentious in decades.

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Trouble Implementing Credit Card Reforms

November 25, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The bill Congress passed earlier this year to protect consumers from "unfair and deceptive" practices by credit card companies (H.R.627) isn't scheduled to go into effect until February. But the rule for implementing the bill has already been released, and credit card companies are preparing for the bill by developing new interest rate mechanisms that will let them continue being unfair and deceptive while being technically in compliance with the law . The new mechanism being developed include th...

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For Bills in Congress, How Long is Long?

November 24, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

The House health care bill is the longest piece of legislation to move through the halls of Congress since at least 1999. But it's a mere 68 words longer than the second longest bill over that time period, which was authored by Republican Rep. Don Young of Alaska.

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Health Care Reform and Mammogram Guidelines

November 23, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Congressional Republicans have pointed to a recent government task force recommendation that women begin screening for breast cancer later in life and less frequently as an example of rationing that would result from the Democrats' health care bills. Click through for an analysis of the charges citing the actual text of the bills.

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Senate Votes to Move the Health Care Debate Forward

November 21, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

After 23 hours of debate, the Senate on Saturday evening voted to begin a formal debate of the Democrats' health care reform bill. All Democrats voted in favor, all Republicans voted against. Read, comment and link to the bill on OpenCongress: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

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Dems Secure 60 Votes To Start Debate on Health Care

November 21, 2009 - by David Moore

The NYTimes reports: Senate Democrats said they had clinched the votes needed on Saturday to propel major health care legislation to the floor for weeks of full debate.... Read, comment, and link to the Senate health care bill.

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Saturday's Health Care Vote Does Not Ensure Passage

November 20, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Senate Republicans today are pointing to a new CRS report to bolster their argument that a vote tomorrow to begin debate of the health care bill is a de facto vote in favor of passing the bill. Most of the bills covered in the report are non-controversial, and the one that was similarly controversial to the health care bill ultimately failed.

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Senate Begins its Health Care Debate

November 19, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Today, the Senate begins what by all accounts will be a lengthy and contentious debate of their health care reform legislation. Read, discuss and link to individual sections of the bill:

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act>>

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Senate Health Care Bill Online Disclosure Provisions

November 19, 2009 - by Paul Blumenthal

The Senate health care reform bill (viewable here) contains numerous provisions that stress disclosure and transparency, specifically online disclosure and transparency. These provisions acknowledge that information that is meant to be disclosed and available to the public must be made available online.

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As I pointed out in a previous post, one of the decisions Harry Reid had to make in reconciling the HELP Committee and Finance Committee was whether or not to require Members of Congress to purchase their insurance the same way everyone else does. The Finance Committee would have required all Members of Congress to give up their Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan and buy insurance through the new exchanges instead, while the HELP bill would allow them to keep their exclusive health care plans...

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Read the Senate Health Care Bill

November 19, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid released his landmark health care bill last night. An initial vote on the bill may come as soon as Saturday. Read it online at OpenCongress:

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act>>

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Senate Health Care Bill Released!

November 18, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Update, 10pm ET: Here it is, the Senate's version of the health care reform bill: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (link opens in browser as a 2,074-page .pdf). For ongoing coverage, follow OC on Twitter, and click through for early reactions...

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To me, these sound like words from a person prepared to vote "aye" on a motion to invoke cloture on a motion to proceed on a health care reform bill. Sen. Ben Nelson [D, NE] earlier today: If you don't like the bill, then why would you block your own opportunity to amend it? Why would you stop senators from doing the job they're elected to do--debate, consider amendments, and take action on an issue affecting every American? Read the full statement at TPM. ...

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