First Edition: October 28, 2009
The news of the day again seems to focus on Senate Democrat's public option as well as the politics, strong-arming and vote-counting that it has caused.
End Of COBRA Subsidy Rattles Newly Unemployed
Laura C. Trueman has spent much of her career promoting affordable health care. Now, she wishes she could find some herself. Laid off from her marketing job at a managed-care company late last year, Trueman was able to keep her health insurance thanks to a provision in the federal stimulus bill that gave furloughed workers the right to purchase their old employer-based coverage at a 65% discount. The subsidies, which last up to nine months, were designed to give workers like Trueman time to get back on their feet (Kaiser Health News).
In Health Debate, Both Sides Vie For Seniors' Support
Nearly all seniors already have health insurance through the Medicare program, but they are among the most sought-after groups in the political struggle to pass or kill a health overhaul bill (NPR).
Centrists Unsure About Reid's Public Option
Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid's risky decision to bring to the chamber's floor a health-care bill containing a government insurance plan was met with skepticism by moderate Democrats, who said they still do not know whether they could support a public option on a final vote (The Washington Post).
Democrats Struggle To Find Unity On Health Plan
Democrats are still struggling to find a strategy that will let them push a health care overhaul through the Senate and fulfill President Barack Obama's goal of signing a bill this year (The Associated Press).
Democrats Divided Over Reid Proposal For Public Option
Senate Democrats voiced deep disagreements on Tuesday over the idea of a government-run health insurance plan, suggesting that the decision by the majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, to include a public plan in major health care legislation had failed, at least initially, to unite his caucus (The New York Times).
Reid Hopes To Sway Enough Senators On 'Public Option'
Faced with opposition from Sens. Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) over inclusion of a government-run insurance program in the Senate healthcare bill, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has intensified negotiations with a handful of Democrats whose support is crucial to passing the legislation (Los Angeles Times).
Reid Doesn't Have Health Votes - Yet
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is short of enough votes to pass a Senate healthcare bill with a government-run health insurance option with only Democratic support (The Hill).
Public Option, Private Strong-Arming By Reid
- A day after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he would put a public option into the health care bill he sends to the floor, it was clear he had not yet found consensus on the legislation's most divisive issue (The Boston Globe).
Defections Have Some Democrats Casting About For Plan B
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's appeals for party unity landed with a thud Tuesday with the very group he needs for his public-option push to pay off: centrists who hold the key to health reform (Politico).
Public Likes Public Option For Healthcare. Joe Lieberman Doesn't.
The public generally supports the public option. This may be one big reason that Senate majority leader Harry Reid surprised many in Washington by including a proposal for government-run insurance also known as the "public option" in the Senate's version of healthcare reform legislation (The Christian Science Monitor).
The Lineup: Reid's Toughest Votes
Just after he announced Monday that the Senate Democrats' health care bill would include a public option with an opt-out provision, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called Sen. Olympia Snowe to say he hoped she'd get behind the plan. Good luck with that. Asked Tuesday what Reid would have to change in his bill to get her vote, Snowe said: "the whole thing" (Politico).
House Dems Seek To Grab Momentum Created By Senate Public Option
House Democratic leaders on Tuesday sought to capture some of the momentum created by the inclusion of a public health insurance option by locking down as many members as possible on which public option they could support in the House healthcare bill (The Hill).
The Influence Game: Doctors' Lobby In Tricky Spot
Does the AMA matter in the health care debate? Congress is beginning to have its doubts, despite the medical association's deep pockets and platoons of lobbyist (The Associated Press).
Delicate Dance For 2 Lobbyists On Health Bill
One is a smooth-talking former congressman from Louisiana - "the Swamp Fox," constituents called him - who relishes his image as a rascal, a charmer and a Cajun raconteur. The other is a fireman's daughter from working-class Rhode Island, strait-laced and studious, who mastered the arcane world of health policy as an analyst for the A.F.L.-C.I.O. (The New York Times).
Proposed Long-Term Insurance Program Raises Questions
As congressional leaders haggle over the shape of a proposed government-run "public option" in health-care reform legislation, a quiet revolt is brewing against a different public insurance program -- a plan to create government insurance for long-term care (The Washington Post).
Health Care Pools: Let Youth Jump, Or Push Them?
The rules for how health insurers use age to set premium rates vary widely from state to state. Some states require insurers to charge all residents - young and old - the same price (NPR).
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