Obama’s Public Pitches And Behind-The-Scenes Signals
"In pursuing his proposed overhaul of the health care system, President Obama has consistently presented himself as aloof from the legislative fray, merely offering broad principles," The New York Times reports. That may be the case when it comes to the three House committees and Senate Health committee, according to the report. But, when it comes to the compromise-minded Senate Finance Committee, Obama and his senior aides have been "negotiating deals through [Finance Chairman Max] Baucus's panel with powerful health care interests," say Democrats and lobbyists, a sign that the White House is open to more "modest" reforms. The Finance Committee appears ready to drop Democratic ambitions to create a government-run insurance program, opting instead for moderate compromises (Kirkpatrick, 8/12).
Meanwhile, Obama will press his case for health reform at town hall meetings in Montana and Colorado, combining his campaign with a family vacation that will include visits to Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon, The Los Angeles Times reports. While other elected officials have seen "eruptions of anger" at their own events, Obama's recent meetings with voters have been more reserved. A conservative group in Montana expects a turnout of 500 protesters at the meeting there, however (Parsons and Silva, 8/13).