Lawmakers Voice Opinions And Search For Ways Forward On Health OverhaulThe Hill: "[Centrist] Democrats such as Sens. Blanche Lincoln (Ark.), Bill Nelson (Fla.) and Max Baucus (Mont.) have approached [Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine,] within the past week to discuss her potential support for various healthcare proposals." Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., who caucuses with the Democrats, has also broached the topic with Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, another moderate Republican, who "said she would consider supporting a scaled-back version of the health legislation," (Bolton, 1/26).
Boston Globe: "[Massachusetts Democrat] Senator John Kerry said [Tuesday] his preferred route to completing health care reform is for the House to pass the Senate bill, and for the Senate to make it more digestible to the House by approving fixes through the reconciliation process, which allows legislation to pass the Senate by a simple majority instead of 60 votes" (1/26).
Roll Call: "Embattled Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) continues to defend her support for health care reform even as she looks to forge a path to re-election in an inhospitable environment complicated by her vote in favor of the comprehensive legislation." On stable ground a year ago, she is now among the most vulnerable incumbents. She is opposing the approached favored by Kerry and other Democratic leaders to use reconciliation, "which could be an attempt to wash her hands of the legislation that has turned into a political albatross" (Drucker, 1/27).
Sioux City Journal: "U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, hopes to reshape the national health care reform debate today when he introduces the Declaration of Health Care Independence." The opening of the declaration, which was co-authored by Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., reads "We demand Constitutional protection of the right to make our own health decisions and our own health care choices free of government denials, bureaucratic red tape and greater intergenerational debt" (Hayworth, 1/27). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.