First Edition: March 15, 2010
Today's headlines drive home one key point -- for the Democrats' health bill, it's all about gathering the votes.
COBRA Health Insurance Program Changes Confuse Consumers
Kaiser Health News staff writer Jenny Gold writes about the confusion currently surrounding consumers. "Every day, dozens of confused, laid-off workers call the COBRA Help Center in Long Island, N.Y., a small private company which administers COBRA group health insurance plans. They're struggling to understand whether they're eligible for federal subsidies. It's not surprising, says George Fox, a field underwriter for the company Planning Financial Futures Inc., that runs the center on behalf of employers and consumers" (Kaiser Health News).
KHN Column: Can Incremental Health Reform Provide A Path Forward?
In a KHN column, Gail Wilensky writes: "As we await another historic vote in the House on whether lawmakers will support the Senate version of reform, it's worth asking whether incremental reform would have been a better path" (Kaiser Health News).
Democratic Leaders Say Health Bill Will Pass
Democratic leaders scrambled Sunday to pull together enough support in the House for a make-or-break decision on health-care reform later this week, expressing optimism that a package will soon be signed into law by President Obama despite a lack of firm votes for passage (The Washington Post).
Obama Officials Confident Health Bill Will Pass House This Week
Senior White House officials predicted Sunday that President Obama's healthcare initiative would pass the House this week and warned Republicans that if they made it an issue in November elections, they did so at their own peril (Los Angeles Times).
As Health Vote Awaits, Future Of A Presidency Waits, Too
Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, had a little political advice last week for President Obama and the Democrats: Don't pass the president's health care legislation because you would risk losing in the midterm elections (The New York Times).
Health Care 101: A Consumer Primer On Obama's Bill
It took lawmakers a year to shape President Barack Obama's health care bill. If it finally passes Congress, it'll take the better part of a decade to write the user manual for consumers and doctors, employers and insurance companies (The Associated Press).
Homestretch Scramble For House Votes
Barack Obama faces the stiffest test of his first-term agenda - and a defining moment in his presidency - as Democratic Party leaders mount a fevered campaign this week to round up votes for a historic health care bill (Politico).
Health-Care Fight Targets Waverers
The fate of President Barack Obama's year-long push for a health-care overhaul comes down to the House, with a vote as soon as Friday. For it to pass, Democratic leaders must win over lawmakers who voted against the overhaul before, and several pitfalls await (The Wall Street Journal).
Undecided Democrats Hold Power Over Health Bill
After all the presidential speeches and high-level negotiations, the fate of President Obama's health care legislation now rests with a handful of House Democrats whose names few will recognize outside their districts (USA Today).
Some Democrats Play Hard To Get As Leaders Hunt For Healthcare Votes
Facing a defining moment of their political careers, some House Democrats are publicly wrestling on how they will vote on healthcare reform (The Hill).
Healthcare Reform: Do House Democrats Have The Votes To Pass It?
Both Democrats and Republicans are digging in for a week that may or may not produce a vote in the US House on healthcare reform (The Christian Science Monitor).
Millions Spent To Sway Democrats On Health Care
The yearlong legislative fight over health care is drawing to a frenzied close as a multimillion-dollar wave of advertising that rivals the ferocity of a presidential campaign takes aim at about 40 House Democrats whose votes will help determine the fate of President Obama's top domestic priority (The New York Times).
Project To Get Transplant Organs From ER Patients Raises Ethics Questions
In the hope of expanding a controversial form of organ donation into emergency rooms around the United States, a federally funded project has begun trying to obtain kidneys, livers and possibly other body parts from car-accident victims, heart-attack fatalities and other urgent-care patients (The Washington Post).
Kaiser Health News tracked news coverage over the weekend, including updates on Democrats' progress on the health bill and the Sunday morning talk show chatter.
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