Dems Talk Compromise, GOP Prepares For Battle On Health Overhaul
Coverage on Sunday included some talk of compromise among Democrats but the Republicans have ramped up for a fight as the August congressional recess begins.
New York Times: "As White House officials and members of Congress began fanning out across the country on Sunday to make the case for or against a health-care overhaul, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said that the White House still preferred a bipartisan approach but hinted that it might consider moving forward without one.
'Ideally, you want to do this with as broad a base of consensus as possible,' he said in an interview on ABC's 'This Week' that was broadcast on Sunday. 'But people on the Hill are going to have to make that choice, do they want to help shape this and be part of it, or do they want this country, the United States of America, to go another several decades without doing what every other serious country has done' to provide basic health care to all.
As House members began a five-week recess, they left behind the outlines of a nearly $1 trillion health care overhaul that is sure to draw fire from a variety of interests, but which shows the beginnings of a consensus that would provide insurance for more Americans and give them new rights in dealing with insurers" (Knowlton, Pear and Herszenhorn, 8/2).
The Washington Post: "(A)s lawmakers begin to flee Washington for a month-long recess, the White House team is retooling its message and strategy, hoping a more modest approach will reinvigorate Obama's signature domestic policy initiative and give him a first-year victory for Democrats to carry into the 2010 midterm elections. Legislative wrangling, a well-coordinated Republican opposition and the sheer complexity of an issue that consumes nearly one-fifth of the nation's economy have taken a toll on the president and his bold ambitions. Polls show that support for Obama's handling of health reform has declined as anxiety deepens about its effect on middle-class, insured Americans" (Connolly, 8/2).
CQ Politics: "Lawmakers' arguments on Sunday on revamping the nation's health care system ranged from one saying Americans should be 'entitled' to a public plan option to another that labeled overhaul a 'jobs killer.' Sen. Jim DeMint , R-S.C., and House Ways and Means Chairman Charles B. Rangel , D-N.Y., squared off on 'Fox News Sunday' .... 'People are starting to figure out that the president is on record, Congressman Rangel's on record, for wanting a single-payer government health care system in America, said DeMint. 'So the debate's really between the Democrats and the American people right now.'"
CQ Politics reports that Rangel said the Republicans "have nothing in terms of responding to ... very serious needs. And for him to have to say that we have a single-payer plan means that he's not aware of the plan that we have in the House, he's not working with the Republicans in the Senate. ... So I'm looking forward to the House getting together and having one bill in there. Fortunately, there are more positive-thinking Republicans in the Senate, and I hope we can come up with a bipartisan [plan]" (Silvassy, 8/2).