First Edition: December 17, 2009
Today's big story, according to the headlines, are the delays in the Senate debate.
In Senate Health Showdown, Round Goes To GOP
On the 17th day of Senate debate on health legislation, it came down to this: A rock-ribbed conservative physician from Oklahoma squared off against a self-described democratic socialist from Vermont who was hoping for a full-throated debate on his proposal to establish a system of "Medicare for all." The Oklahoman, Senator Tom Coburn, a Republican, had propounded a unanimous-consent request, stipulating that no amendment could be offered unless it had been publicly available for 72 hours, with an estimate of its costs. The conflict on Wednesday illustrated the frustration growing in both parties after more than two weeks of desultory debate, as Senate Democrats struggle to line up 60 votes and pass their health care bill before Christmas (The New York Times).
Senate Republicans Vow To Delay Health-Care Vote
Senate Republicans vowed Wednesday to use every available tactic to delay voting on the health-care bill as Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) scrambled to unify Democrats in support of the legislation (The Washington Post).
Health Bill Held Up By Single Democrat And GOP Tactics
New obstacles slowed Senate action on the healthcare bill Wednesday, as the hunt for supporters narrowed to a lone Democrat -- Ben Nelson of Nebraska -- and Republican delaying tactics brought debate to a temporary standstill (Los Angeles Times).
More Delays In Senate On Health Bill
The liberals' longtime dream of a government-run health care system for all died Wednesday in the Senate, but Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont vowed it will return when the realization dawns that private insurance companies "are no longer needed" (USA Today).
Reid Fights For 60th Vote On Health Bill
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid struggled to win over the last Democratic vote on health-overhaul legislation as uncertainty grew about whether the measure can be brought to a vote before Christmas (The Wall Street Journal).
Support For Health Overhaul Wanes
The public is turning against an overhaul of the health-care system, complicating Democrats' effort to pass a sweeping bill in the Senate (The Wall Street Journal).
Left Eases Threat To Kill Health Bill
Liberal groups and labor unions have pulled back from calls to kill the Senate healthcare bill (The Hill).
Vote By Christmas In Peril
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's plan to pass the Senate health care reform bill by Christmas looked increasingly in doubt Wednesday, as Republicans launched an offensive to stall the legislation and Democrats had yet to strike a 60-vote compromise (Politico).
Democrats Vow To Close Medicare 'Doughnut Hole'
It's an annual ordeal for many seniors living on a budget. Medicare's coverage gap for prescription drugs - $3,610 next year - has steadily gotten bigger since the benefit's inception. But if Democrats have their way on health care overhaul, the dreaded "doughnut hole" will shrink by $500 right away and go away altogether by 2019 (The Associated Press).
Lieberman's Health Care Shift Gets Mixed Reviews
For a while this week, it looked like the opposition of Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Connecticut independent, could doom the Democrats' attempt at passing health care. That changed when Majority Leader Harry Reid gave in to Lieberman's demands on the Medicare buy-in program and the public option (NPR).
How Joe Lieberman's 'No' Helps President Obama
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) is taking a thrashing from his former Democratic colleagues and liberal activists for forcing a Medicare expansion out of the health bill. But in the end, Lieberman may have done President Barack Obama one of the biggest favors in the health care debate (Politico).
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