First Edition: September 18, 2009
Today's coverage shows that all sides of the health overhaul debate are breaking down the specifics of the Baucus reform bill and developing their strategies and plans for next steps.
Baucus Will Tinker With Health Bill To Mollify Critics
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus said Thursday he expects to make adjustments to his health-care plan, in a bid to solidify support for the bill after some Democrats said it would impose big costs on middle-income families (The Wall Street Journal).
New Tax In Senate Health Plan Draws Bipartisan Fire
Senators of both parties said Thursday that they would seek significant changes in a Democratic proposal to tax generous high-cost health insurance policies (The New York Times).
Ganging Up On Baucus: Senator's Plan Garners Bipartisan Grumbles
Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) finally introduced his much-anticipated healthcare reform bill Wednesday - and was rewarded with a chorus of disapproval from both the left and the right (The Hill).
Left And Right Plot On Baucus Bill
A day after Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus released a health care bill that he predicted would win bipartisan support, Democrats and Republicans retreated to their separate corners Thursday as both parties plotted their strategy to shape the legislation (Politico).
Splitting Healthcare Tab Is A Balancing Act
Imagine the debate over healthcare legislation on Capitol Hill as a tussle among three friends out for dinner.
All three have been struggling to pay their bills lately. When the check arrives, they try to figure out how to divide it. The problem is no one can really afford the meal. And if one manages to pay less, the other two will go home even deeper in the hole. That is the dilemma facing President Obama and his congressional allies as they try to develop healthcare legislation that can unite liberal and conservative Democrats and make it to the president's desk by the end of the year (Los Angeles Times).
Democrats May Go It Alone On Healthcare, But Must Close Ranks
Democrats are bracing to go it alone on the overhaul of the nation's healthcare system, but the key is first closing their own ranks (The Christian Science Monitor).
Rockefeller Stands Up For Liberals On Health Care
On Tuesday, John D. Rockefeller IV, a leading Senate liberal on health issues, said he would oppose a new Democratic proposal intended to win elusive Republican support to remake the health system. On Wednesday, he was summoned to a private meeting with President Obama (The New York Times).
Economists Debate 'Public Option' On Health Care
Princeton economist and professor Uwe Reinhardt has spent his life giving out grades. So much so that he gives them out by instinct, even to things that don't usually get grades. And last week when President Obama gave his big speech to Congress on health care overhaul, Reinhardt took out a pencil and paper as he listened. Overall, he thought, the speech was impressive: A-. But then Obama brought up that idea of a "public option" - a government-run insurance plan to compete with other insurers (NPR).
Health Policy Experts Urge Congress To Abandon Ideological Differences On Overhaul
Veteran health policy experts Thursday urged lawmakers to put aside ideological differences and take immediate action to create broad based changes in the nation's health care system (Kaiser Health News).
Affordability Is Major Challenge For Reform
Lawmakers in both parties raised concerns Thursday that the health-care reform bill offered by Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus a day earlier would impose too high a cost on middle-class Americans and said they will seek to change the legislation to ease that potential burden (The Washington Post).
Obama Asks Youth To Spread Health Care Message
On Thursday, President Obama spoke about health care to 15,000 people packed into the University of Maryland's Comcast Center. It was just the kind of young, liberal crowd that formed the core of his base during the campaign last year. He told the largely student crowd that overhauling health insurance was one of the defining struggles of their generation (NPR).
Obama To Speed Up Tort Reform Tests
One day after physicians suffered a pair of setbacks in a health-care bill unveiled by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), President Obama moved Thursday to ease the pain by accelerating a $25 million program aimed at softening the pinch of medical malpractice lawsuits (The Washington Post).
White House To Offer Grants Aimed At Curbing Medical Malpractice Suits
The White House rolled out a modest program Thursday examining ways to discourage frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits, but what was meant as a bipartisan overture was quickly denounced by Republicans and business and consumer groups as an empty gesture (Los Angeles Times).
State Governors Need 'Time And Flexibility' For Successful Health Reform
When it comes to making changes in the nation's health care system, states will need "time and flexibility," according to Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas, the Republican head of the National Governors Association. He has been conferring with federal officials on possible reforms (Kaiser Health News).
Health Coverage Not Universal For Federal Workforce
The health insurance program that covers President Obama and members of Congress has been touted during the current debate as a model for overhauling the nation's health-care system. But one overlooked aspect of the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program is that many federal workers go without health insurance for themselves or members of their families (The Washington Post).
Grassley 'Resents' Obama Over Healthcare
The relationship between Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley (Iowa), a key player in the healthcare debate, and the White House remains strained over barbs traded during the August recess, Grassley indicated Thursday (The Hill).
Iowa Poll: Stick With Talks, Grassley
Iowans would rather see U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley compromise with Democrats on a health reform bill than drop out of negotiations because he dislikes some of the proposals, a new Iowa Poll shows (Des Moines Register).
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