Sen. Feingold Asks Democratic Leaders To Remove Special Deals From Health Bill
News outlets focus on lawmakers, including Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., and Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb.
Roll Call: "Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) on Thursday called on Democratic leaders to strip special deals awarded to his colleagues from the final, negotiated health care reform package, although he stopped short of saying he would vote against the bill if his demands were not met. In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Feingold targets the Medicaid provisions inserted before the Senate package passed on a party-line vote on Christmas Eve. Although Feingold does not name names, his letter is undoubtedly aimed at deals to provide extra funding for Nebraska and Louisiana secured by Democratic Sens. Ben Nelson (Neb.) and Mary Landrieu (La.), respectively" (Drucker, 1/14).
The Chadron Record: "In the fallout after his yes vote on the Senate healthcare reform bill in December, Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson remains adamant about several things. Doing nothing isn't an option, he didn't sell his vote" and he will not vote for any bill that includes a public option or has abortion funding. "In an interview with The Chadron Record Friday, Nelson explained that in his opinion healthcare reform is needed now, attempted to clarify why he voted yes and explained the possible benefits of reform for Nebraska's citizens" (Rempp, 1/14).
The New York Times: "Five Democratic senators urged the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, on Thursday to include a 'fail-safe mechanism' in the final version of major health care legislation in order to guarantee the hundreds of billions of dollars in projected government savings that are intended to help pay for the bill. Both the House and Senate versions of the health care bill rely on major reductions in government spending, particularly in slowing the growth of Medicare, to help pay the 10-year cost of extending health benefits to more than 30 million uninsured Americans. The letter was signed by Senators Evan Bayh of Indiana, Michael Bennet of Colorado, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, and Mark Warner of Virginia" (Herszenhorn, 1/14).