Lawmakers Struggling With Health Overhaul Bills
Associated Press: "Senate Democrats alone cannot pass President Barack Obama's ambitious overhaul of how Americans receive health care, a top lawmaker acknowledged on Sunday. Republicans said they will continue their opposition to a plan they say is simply a government takeover of private decisions."
"'Look, there are not the votes for Democrats to do this just on our side of the aisle,' said Sen. Kent Conrad, the chairman of the powerful budget committee. [On ABC's 'This Week']
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, meanwhile, said she has the votes in her chamber to move forward with the plan despite the same concerns among fiscally conservative fellow Democrats. 'When I take this bill to the floor, it will win. We will move forward, it will happen,' Pelosi said.' Pelosi appeared on on CNN's "State of the Union Conrad on ABC's "This Week". (7/26).
New York Times: "The decision by Senate Democratic leaders last week to devote more time to winning Republican support for a health care overhaul has allowed President Obama to keep alive the possibility of bipartisanship on one of the most contentious issues on his agenda. 'Bipartisanship is absolutely possible and it's absolutely necessary, even when you have a Democratic president with huge majorities,' said Senator Lamar Alexander."
"But Mr. Obama is under growing pressure to choose between wooing a small band of Republicans or struggling to rally his party to use its big majorities in Congress to get the job done. The bipartisanship exhibited in the passage of two other ambitious domestic programs that offer one historical backdrop for this debate - Social Security in 1935 and Medicare and Medicaid 30 years later - seems increasingly improbable in today's Washington" (Nagourney, 7/26).
Washington Post: "President Obama says the primary goal of health reform is to rein in runaway spending, and he points to real-world examples in which doctors and hospitals have improved care and reduced costs ... The proposals circulating in Congress make strides toward curbing medical spending, largely by grabbing what Len Nichols of the nonpartisan New America Foundation calls the 'low-hanging fruit.' The bills extract savings by targeting medical errors, administrative waste and unnecessary duplication -- money that would be reallocated to cover many of the 47 million uninsured. But a diverse cross section of experts says the legislation lacks the more far-reaching structural changes needed to ensure that over the long term the nation gets its money's worth" (Connolly, 7/26).