First Edition: November 6, 2009
Today's headlines highlight activity on different fronts -- with House Democrats scrambling to hold together fragile support for tomorrow's health bill vote while Republican lawmakers and other health reform opponents intensify their attack.
Injury Upon Injury: Californians Losing Jobs Find State Health Safety Net Is Badly Frayed
Robin Willer slumps on the metal bench, her sweater drawn up over her swollen cheeks. "The cold hurts it," she says, pointing gingerly to three broken teeth. Willer, 56, a banquet waitress who lost her longtime job in June 2008, is waiting in a chilly back alley behind Orange County's emergency dental clinic. It's not yet dawn. More people are arriving, by bus, car and on foot. The race is on to win one of the few slots in a dentist's chair today. Even though the clinic's doors don't open until 7:30 a.m., the rush began at 5:30 (Kaiser Health News).
House Democrats Seek Allies For Health Care Reform
House Democratic leaders worked furiously on Thursday to secure the final votes for weekend approval of a sweeping health care overhaul as President Obama threw his weight behind the lobbying effort and Republicans dug in against the health plan (The New York Times).
Democrats Wary Of Health-Bill Defections
House Democratic leaders were struggling Thursday to contain uprisings on the hot-button issues of abortion and immigration that have left them little margin for error as they attempt to push through a massive health-care reform bill this weekend (The Washington Post).
House Dems Push For Votes On Health Bill
House Democrats are scrambling to secure enough support to pass President Barack Obama's historic health overhaul initiative, working to soothe last-minute concerns from rank-and-file Democrats ahead of a make-or-break vote (The Associated Press).
Illegal Immigration Issue Threatens Healthcare Vote
The illegal immigration issue is emerging as the biggest threat to passing healthcare reform in the House (The Hill).
Seniors And Doctors Give Key Boost To Health Bill
With a historic House vote on a $1-trillion healthcare bill barely 48 hours away, battle lines are hardening as lobbying groups for seniors and doctors endorse the legislation, while thousands of protesters swarmed Capitol Hill to oppose it (Los Angeles Times).
Health Bill Garners Endorsements
House Democrats' health bill got a boost Thursday with endorsements by AARP and the American Medical Association, which President Barack Obama seized on to push for support with hours ticking down before a scheduled vote Saturday evening on the House floor (The Wall Street Journal).
Temps Rising On Healthcare: Pelosi See Win; GOP Demands Pricetag
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) predicted she will get the votes needed to pass healthcare reform as Republicans scrambled Thursday to obtain a cost estimate they believe could derail the bill (The Hill).
Pelosi Is Still Dealing As Vote Nears
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has conjured up plenty of old ghosts since launching the health care fight back in July, invoking Democrats who laid the foundation for this year's push - like Franklin Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman (Politico).
CMS Score Of House Bill May Not Be Finished Before Weekend Vote
Medicare's chief actuary told The Hill on Thursday that it is unclear if he will have a cost estimate of the House healthcare reform bill before a scheduled vote this weekend (The Hill).
Beyond 'Just Say No,' GOP Lawmakers Launch Their Healthcare Plan
Amid shouts of "Kill the bill," "You work for us!" and "Can you hear us now?" House Republicans and Tea Party protesters rallied on the steps of the Capitol Thursday to blast the Democratic healthcare bill they dub "Pelosi-Care" (The Christian Science Monitor).
Activists Bring 'Tea Party' To Capitol Hill
With the stage set for a historic House vote on health-care reform this weekend, an estimated 10,000 conservative activists descended on Capitol Hill on Thursday for a campaign-style rally in a last-ditch effort to defeat a bill they demonized as "Pelosi-Care" (The Washington Post).
Health Care Opponents Intensify Late Attack
The sweeping health care overhaul package before Congress is under an 11th-hour attack over a pair of emotional issues, abortion and immigration, that are complicating Democrats' efforts to piece together the coalition they need to pass the bill (The Boston Globe).
Democrats Pose Health Bill Hurdle
As Democratic leaders enter the intensive phase of their drive to pass health legislation, they must satisfy 60 Mary Landrieus in the Senate -- every Democrat and the two Democratic-friendly independents, each with individual priorities -- as they try to hold together a fragile coalition with no room for error. And that has only become more complicated as Democrats from conservative states puzzle over what to make of Republican victories Tuesday in governor's races in Virginia and New Jersey (The Wall Street Journal).
Is The House Healthcare Reform Bill Unconstitutional?
Healthcare reform critics gathered at the Capitol Thursday for a very public "House Call" protest ahead of Saturday's scheduled vote on the House bill. Behind the scenes, however, lawyers connected with the Tea Party movement are planning a legal assault on healthcare reform (The Christian Science Monitor).
Health Reform Bill Allows For Hawaii To Opt Out
Hawaii would be allowed to opt out of key requirements of national health care reform legislation, the only state given such a privilege because it already has its own comprehensive health insurance law (The Associated Press).
Texas Lawmakers Try To Give Doctor-Owned Hospitals A Dose Of Help
Texas House members are mounting a late effort to delay new limits on physician-owned hospitals, putting them at odds with Democratic leaders who think the facilities drive up health care costs (Dallas Morning News).
Uproar As firms Get Swine-Flu Vaccine
The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged health officials around the country Thursday to ensure swine-flu vaccine is getting to high-risk groups, after criticism erupted over distribution to some Wall Street firms (The Wall Street Journal).
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