Murtha’s Death May Complicate House Efforts On Health Overhaul, Conrad Blasts Media For Health Coverage, Pelosi Adviser Outlines Possible Scenario For PassageThe Washington Independent: "The death of Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) is a blow to Democratic efforts to pass the Senate version of health care reform in the House - they're now down one vote from a swing district Democrat willing to make the tough choice. But what might turn out to be an insurmountable problem is the intransigence of two liberals in the House conference, Rep. Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio.). Both say they won't vote for anything less than a single payer system" (Weigel, 2/9).
Politico: "Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) told reporters today that Democrats don't need to have a reform package ready in time for President Barack Obama's bipartisan meeting because the groundwork has already been laid." Dodd said, "This idea that you need a blank sheet of paper, I don't know where that comes from" (Frates and McGrane, 2/9).
The Hill: "Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) slammed television news stories that 'obsess' over 'death panels' and minor issues in Democrats' healthcare reform efforts." Conrad said, "I think the media have done a grave disservice to the American people for chasing every rabbit of an issue that matters very little to dealing with [what] has to be done" (Alarkon, 2/9). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.