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Pelosi Talks Health Care

January 21, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

In her first public statement on health care since the Scott Brown victory in Massachusetts, Rep. Nancy Pelosi [D, CA-8] made it clear that the House was not ready to accept the Senate bill as-is. But she added: "We have to get a bill passed -- we know that. That's a predicate that we all subscribe to."

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Congress Links -- The Day After Edition

January 20, 2010 - by Eric Naing

Democrats are reeling after Martha Coakley's defeat to Scott Brown in Massachusetts. Health care reform is obviously affected, but it's far from the only issue on the minds of lawmakers today: The Democratic party has a new talking point for the post-Massachusetts political era: β€œIt is mathematically impossible for Democrats to pass legislation on our own.” Technically, this is correct. There will only be 59 Senate Democrats soon – not enough to break a filibuster that is increasingly being ap...

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Scott Brown and Climate Change

January 20, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Republican Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts is going to affect more than just health care. Climate change legislation is also likely to die now that the Republicans have the votes to filibuster just about anything the Democrats want to do.

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Webb: Stop Health Care Reform... For Now

January 20, 2010 - by Eric Naing

Another influential Democrat seems to be distancing himself from health care reform. Sen. Jim Webb [D, VA] wants to put the breaks on any plan to quickly pass the health care bill before Scott Brown is sworn in.

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Frank Backs Away From the Health Care Bill

January 19, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

The most surprising and most significant statement from a member of Congress tonight following the Massachusetts Senate results came from the influential, generally progressive Rep. Barney Frank [D, MA-4]: I am hopeful that some Republican senators will be willing to discuss a revised version of health care reform. Because I do not think that the country would be well served by the health care status quo. But our respect for democratic procedures must rule out any effort to pass a health care...

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Weiner: Health Care 'Dead' if Brown Wins

January 19, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Rep. Anthony Weiner [D, NY-9], one of the House's most progressive advocates of health care reform, today said that the bill may be "dead" if Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown wins today in Massachusetts. "I think you can make a pretty good argument that health care might be dead," Weiner said on MSNBC. "I think it's going to be very hard to ask us in the House to take the Senate bill when everyone acknowledges it was a worse bill. Everyone said the only reason we were passing the Sena...

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Moving Forward With Health Care Reform

January 17, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Tuesdays's special Senate election in Massachusetts will certainly be viewed as a referendum on Congress' health care bill. But even if the Republican candidate wins and the Democrats no longer hold a 60-vote supermajority in the Senate, there will still be at least two realistic options for the health care bill to make it through Congress and be signed into law.

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Dems, Unions Agree to Scale Back the "Cadillac Tax"

January 14, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

The White House, congressional Dems and labor leaders appear to have struck a deal to raise the threshold for which high-cost health care plans will be taxed to pay for health care reform. Unions were aiming to exempt "collectively bargained" plans from the tax altogether.

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Employer Mandate on the Chopping Block

January 13, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Numerous reports indicate that the final health care bill will eschew the House's plan to require businesses to provide insurance and instead will tax employers for each uninsured employee that qualifies for government health care subsidies.

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Final Bill Shaping Up

January 12, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

The Washington Post's E.J. Dionne previews the final health care bill and the concessions progressive House Democrats are getting in exchange for giving up the public option.

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The second session of the 111th session of Congress will officially begin this week as the House of Representatives returns to Washington for legislative work. The Senate remains in recess until after Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but some, including Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid [D, NV] will be in town to continue negotiating a final health care bill with House Democrats and the Obama Administration.

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A Final Possibility for a Public Option Compromise

January 8, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Igor Volsky at the Wonk Room suggests that the Senate could strengthen their provision that allows states to set up their own public options by providing start-up funds

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Progressive health care reform advocates are attacking a provision in the Senate health care bill that could make employment-based insurance plans up to two times more expensive for people who smoke, are overweight, or have high cholesterol levels.

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C-SPAN Asks to Televise Health Care Negotiations

January 5, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

President Obama has repeatedly promised to televise health care negotiations on C-SPAN so that the public can watch along. Now, C-CPAN's CEO, Brian Lamb, is asking Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress to help Obama keep his promise.

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Ping Pong It Is

January 4, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Rather than go through the delay and procedural hurdles that could result from taking the health care bill to a conference committee, the Democrats have decided to reach a deal on the bill informally and then "ping-pong" it quickly through the House and the Senate.

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