First Edition: October 14, 2009
Today's headlines report on the Senate Finance Committee's historic vote on health overhaul legislation with Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, at the center of the action. But with the insurance industry emerging as a clear foe, what comes next?
Finance Committee Approves Health Reform Bill, Snowe Sides With Democrats
Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., talked with Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, before the Senate Finance Committee vote on a health care overhaul. With the support of a lone Republican, Olympia Snowe, the committee approved the bill that would assure that most Americans would have access to health insurance, end discriminatory insurance industry practices and impose a tax on high-cost health care plans (Kaiser Health News).
Proposed Tax Rattles Orthopedic Device Industry
People are worried in towns like Warsaw, Ind., considered the "orthopedic device manufacturing capital" of the world. The industry is fighting the $4 billion-a-year tax included in the Senate Finance Committee bill to help pay for health reform (Kaiser Health News and USA Today).
Health Insurers Emerge As Obama's Top Foe In Reform Effort
Now they have an enemy. For months, President Obama and his administration waged their fight for a health-care overhaul without a clear opponent, even courting the industry executives and interest groups that helped kill reform efforts 15 years ago (The Washington Post).
Insurers Stand Against Committee's Plan
The insurance industry said Tuesday it opposed the Senate Finance Committee's bill, a move away from the detente it has maintained during the health-care debate in return for a seat at the negotiating table (The Wall Street Journal).
Would Healthcare Premiums Go Up Under Senate Finance Bill?
Has the health-insurance industry shot itself in the foot? On Sunday, America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the insurer trade group, released a study warning that the Senate Finance Committee's health bill would result in sizable hikes in insurance premiums. The timing of the release seemed intended to influence Tuesday's planned vote on the bill by the full Finance panel. But the study's methodology has been criticized as flawed by outside experts. And the salvo seems to have done something President Obama had been unable to accomplish: unite fractious Democrats in support of the legislation (The Christian Science Monitor).
Republican's Vote Lifts A Health Bill, But Hurdles Remain
After months of relentless courting and suspense, Senator Olympia J. Snowe, Republican of Maine, cast her vote with Democrats on Tuesday as the Senate Finance Committee approved legislation to remake the health care system and provide coverage to millions of the uninsured (The New York Times).
Finance Committee Passes Bill With One GOP Vote
As the last of five congressional committees completed work Tuesday on a health-care reform package, lawmakers braced for a debate before the full House and Senate about whether Americans are ready to embrace the far-reaching changes necessary to extend coverage to millions of Americans (The Washington Post).
Panel Approves Health Bill Months In The Making
A historic measure aimed at providing access to affordable health coverage to every American cleared a key hurdle yesterday, as the Senate Finance Committee approved a bill it had been painstakingly crafting over many months (The Boston Globe).
Senate Vote Arms Baucus For Party War
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) staked a powerful claim Tuesday that his health care bill is about as far as his party is willing to go in turning the president's vision of reform into reality (Politico).
$829B Baucus Health Care Bill Clears Hurdle
Lawmakers turned their attention to the next critical step for health care legislation - floor debate - after a key Senate committee Tuesday advanced an $829 billion measure that would affect health insurance for millions of Americans (USA Today).
Health Care Legislation Back Behind Closed Doors
Health care talks slip back behind closed doors Wednesday as Senate leaders start trying to merge two very different bills into a new version that can get the 60 votes needed to guarantee its passage (The Associated Press).
People To Watch In The Debate's Next Phase
With the Senate Finance Committee passing a health-care bill, action shifts to the full Senate, where Majority Leader Harry Reid and the White House must craft a bill that can win 60 votes to avoid a filibuster (The Wall Street Journal).
Vote Makes Snowe A Key Player
When Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe took her seat on the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday morning, she had only an inkling of how she'd vote on health care reform. She wanted the budget experts to weigh in before making up her mind (Politico).
Healthcare Reform Bill Clears Senate Finance Committee
After months of wrangling over how to reshape the nation's healthcare system, the last of five congressional committees on Tuesday endorsed its sweeping blueprint for expanding coverage and containing costs (Los Angeles Times).
Interest Groups Battle To Deflect Health Taxes
Insurance companies, unions, medical device makers and others in the health care industry are furiously lobbying lawmakers to shift burdens onto someone else - anyone else - before they find themselves saddled with billions of dollars in taxes under new health care legislation (The Associated Press).
Forget 'Cadillac' Health Care; Americans Need A Buick
You know, in the health care debate, we all keep talking about people who have "Cadillac" health care plans. I'm not completely clear on what this is. I guess what they mean is "an extravagantly good health care plan" - in the same way that Cadillacs can be extravagantly nice cars (NPR).
Sorting Our Tax Effects In The Bill
Some questions and answers regarding the Senate Finance Committee health-care bill and how it affects taxes (The Wall Street Journal).
Medical-Device Firms Criticize Tax Proposal
As it turns out, the day the Senate Finance Committee voted to approve its health-care reform bill was the same day that about 1,400 workers and executives in the medical-device industry convened in Washington to talk shop (The Washington Post).
Health Insurance Help For Laid-Off Workers May End
If you have ever lost a job and the health benefits that went with it, you have probably heard of COBRA, the program that requires employers to extend your health coverage for a price (NPR/KQED).
Polls: Americans Want Healthcare Reform At No Cost To Them
Democrats in Washington are navigating treacherous electoral terrain as they craft healthcare reform legislation, judging by new polls that show Americans pulled by conflicting desires on healthcare. They are eager for change but hesitant about paying for it (The Christian Science Monitor).
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