First Edition: March 25, 2010
Today's early morning highlights stories from major news organizations, including reports on the progress of the health reconciliation bill, threats against Democrats because of their votes on the new health overhaul law and questions about a highly touted reform.
Coverage For Sick Kids Under Question In New Law
Kaiser Health News writers Phil Galewitz and Andrew Villegas look at a controversy about a popular provision in the new health bill: Several speeches by President Barack Obama and explanations of the bill issued by congressional Democrats left the impression the new health overhaul law would immediately stop insurers from denying coverage to children with pre-existing medical conditions. "But health advocates and some insurers say the law does not clearly state that such protection starts this year. If it doesn't, uninsured children with pre-existing conditions might not get help until 2014, when the law requires insurers to issue policies for all applicants regardless of health condition. There is no doubt that for children who are enrolled in insurance plans, the new law bars insurers from excluding coverage of any pre-existing conditions" (Kaiser Health News).
Some Will Remain Uninsured After Reform
Kaiser Health News writer Maggie Mertens explores who will remain uninsured after the health overhaul takes effect. "When President Obama signed health care overhaul into law Tuesday, did he fulfill a campaign promise to 'bring health care to all?' The short answer is no. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the overhaul law, as it expected to be amended by House fixes, would eventually cover 32 million more Americans. But that would leave 23 million that would still be uninsured by 2019. So maybe it's not universal coverage? But who gets left out?" (Kaiser Health News).
G.O.P. Forces New House Vote on Package of Health Bill Changes
With the Senate working through an all-night session on a package of changes to the Democrats' sweeping health care legislation, Republicans early Thursday morning identified parliamentary problems with at least two provisions that will require the measure to be sent back to the House for yet another vote, once the Senate adopts it (The New York Times).
Final Piece of Health Bill Hits Snag
The last piece of U.S. President Barack Obama's remake of the nation's health-care system hit a parliamentary snag in the Senate, and appears likely to be headed back to the House for one final vote before becoming law, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) said Thursday (Wall Street Journal).
Healthcare Bill Headed Back To The House After Marathon Senate Push
Senate Democrats defeated 29 straight Republican amendments to the Democratic healthcare reconciliation bill before losing a key parliamentary ruling in Thursday's early hours that will force the legislation back to the House of Representatives (The Hill).
Reconciliation Bill Will Have To Go Back To The House
The reconciliation bill will have to go back to the House for another vote after Senate parliamentarian Alan Frumin ruled early this morning that two minor provisions violated the chamber's rules and could not be included in the final bill, according to Majority Leader Harry Reid's spokesman Jim Manley (Politico).
After Health Vote, Threats on Democrats
Democratic lawmakers have received death threats and been the victims of vandalism because of their votes in favor of the health care bill, lawmakers and law enforcement officials said Wednesday, as the Congressional debate over the issue headed toward a bitter and divisive conclusion (The New York Times).
Lawmakers Concerned As Health-Care Overhaul Foes Resort To Violence
The pitched battle over health care has unleashed a rash of vandalism and attacks directed at politicians, with at least 10 House Democrats reporting death threats or incidents of harassment or vandalism at their district offices over the past week (The Washington Post).
Leadership Decries Threats To Lawmakers In Wake Of Health Vote
Democrats on Wednesday decried a spike in threats made to lawmakers who voted for the healthcare legislation and accused Republicans of fomenting violent behavior (The Hill).
Steny Hoyer: Members Are At Risk
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is warning that some of his Democratic colleagues are being threatened with violence when they go back to their districts - and he wants Republicans to stand up and condemn the threats (Politico).
Was Rep. Tom Perriello Targeted For His Vote On Healthcare Bill?
As a human rights activist, Rep. Tom Perriello (D) of Virginia, saw some of the world's hottest spots Kosovo, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, and Darfur. But he never expected to bring danger to his doorstep with a vote cast on the floor of the House or Representatives for a healthcare bill (Christian Science Monitor).
Key Part of Law To Be Clarified
The Obama administration said Wednesday it would issue regulations to make clear that insurers must cover sick children, fixing what appears to be a glitch in the new health law (The Wall Street Journal).
Obama Signs Order Blocking Abortion Funding
With little fanfare, President Obama signed an executive order yesterday designed to ensure that no federal money can be used for elective abortions under the nation's new health care law (The Boston Globe).
Obama Has Angered Women's Groups By Reaffirming No Federal Funds For Abortion
President Obama, who quietly signed an executive order Wednesday reaffirming that no federal funds can be used for abortion, is facing fury from a core part of his constituency: women's advocates (The Washington Post).
Both Sides Of Abortion Issue Quick To Dismiss Order
Both sides in the abortion debate came to a rare agreement on Wednesday: The executive order on abortion signed by President Obama, they said, was basically meaningless (USA Today).
Decoding The New Health Care Politics
Democrats think health reform - now that voters can focus on the substance rather than the messy deal-cutting process that preceded its passage - is the key to improving their political fortunes. Republicans think they can use the issue to rout the Democrats in the midterms. They can't both be right (Politico).
Funds Double For Health Clinics
Federally funded health clinics are set to play an even larger role in the revamped health-care landscape, which expands Medicaid and other insurance coverage and sharply increases funding for the clinics (The Wall Street Journal).
Health Mandate Tests The Reach Of Government
A flood of lawsuits from states seeking to block the health care law President Obama signed this week raises sharp questions about the power of the federal government to impose mandates on its citizens, but legal scholars disagree about how the cases will be decided if they are heard by the Supreme Court (The Boston Globe).
Administration: Health Lawsuit 'Without Merit'
The Obama administration on Wednesday blasted as bogus a lawsuit filed by states against the new healthcare law (The Hill).
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