First Edition: March 4, 2010
Today's headlines offer more detail about President Obama's health reform speech, his call for quick congressional action and reconciliation.
Some Small Businesses See Burden In 'Cadillac' Tax
Kaiser Health News staff writer Jenny Gold, in collaboration with NPR, writes about this proposed tax. It could make it more difficult for small businesses to purchase health coverage. Even though many businesses don't offer rich benefits, their plans may be costly because the covered employees are predominantly older, sicker or female, three categories that currently result in higher premiums. Other provisions in health overall legislation could mitigate the impact of the tax, however (Kaiser Health News).
KHN Column: Popular But Ineffective: Repealing Insurers' Antitrust Exemption
In today's Kaiser Health News column, Austin Frakt writes: It is well known that concentration in the health insurance industry is to blame for rapidly rising premiums. Well known, but wrong. Taking political advantage of this common misconception, last week the House passed a bill to repeal insurers' antitrust exemption. But even if that bill becomes law it won't do much good, and politicians' distraction could actually harm consumers. It's far more likely that premium increases are largely due to other factors (Kaiser Health News).
Obama Calls For Reconciliation To Prevent Filibuster On Health-Care Reform
President Obama's endorsement Wednesday of a risky legislative maneuver to complete health-care legislation sent Democratic leaders scrambling to settle policy disputes and assemble the votes necessary for passage in the coming weeks (The Washington Post).
In Final Push, Obama Urges 'Up Or Down' Vote On Health
President Obama, beginning his final push for a health care overhaul, called Wednesday for Congress to allow an "up or down vote" on the measure, and sketched out an ambitious - and, some Democrats said, unrealistic - timetable for his party to pass a bill on its own within weeks (The New York Times).
Obama Declares Health Debate Over, Urges Action
On Tuesday, President Obama reached out to Republicans by including several of their ideas in the health care proposal he wants Congress to pass. But in a speech Wednesday at the White House, he made it clear that he won't accept their threshold demand - to start the process over (NPR).
Obama Calls For Action On Healthcare
An impassioned President Obama on Wednesday challenged Congress to vote on sweeping healthcare legislation "in the next few weeks," even if doing so means having to maneuver around the Republican minority (Los Angeles Times).
President Launches Last Push On Health-Care Overhaul
President Barack Obama opened the final act of a year-long drama over health-care legislation Wednesday, calling on Democrats in Congress to approve the sweeping bill despite political risks and Republican opposition (The Wall Street Journal).
Some Dems Are Wary Of Obama's Final Health Push
Rank-and-file Democrats in Congress remain wary of health care legislation in spite of President Barack Obama's closing argument for overhauling the system, well aware that success is far from assured and political perils abound (The Associated Press).
Obama Wants Health Vote Soon
President Obama urged Congress on Wednesday to vote "in the next few weeks" on his final plan to revamp the nation's health care system, even as centrist Democrats whose votes will be critical expressed reservations (USA Today).
Healthcare Reform: Obama Nudges Congress Toward Reconciliation
President Obama called on Congress Wednesday to finish healthcare reform with an "up-or-down vote" in the next few weeks (The Christian Science Monitor).
White House Warns Dems: Don't Flip-Flop
Two senior administration officials said the White House is telling Democrats reconsidering their support for health care reform that they will pay the price for their original vote no matter what happens, so they should reap the political benefits of actually passing a law (Politico).
Obama Steps Up Health Care Pressure
President Obama increased the pressure on Congress yesterday to take an up-or-down vote on his health care package, calling on Senate Democrats to bypass a Senate filibuster and revive the stalled legislation over the objections of Republicans (The Boston Globe).
President Obama Hits Health Care Reform Homestretch
President Barack Obama, who had planned to focus sharply on jobs this year, will be hitting the road next week for what the White House hopes will really be the final push for health care reform (Politico).
Kaiser Health News tracked yesterday's coverage of President Obama's remarks. Read a transcript of his speech or watch video highlights.
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