First Edition: August 5, 2009
Today's headlines show the White House rallying Senate Democrats, and using its web-based grass-roots tools, to reclaim control of the health care debate.
Insurance Agents Look Into The Future And See Uncertainty And "Opportunity"
For the tens of thousands of individual insurance agents nationwide, the idea of a health system overhaul hits close to home and work. The changes currently under consideration could radically alter how they do business. For example, there could be requirements that all individuals have coverage, that employers provide insurance for their workers and that insurers cover anyone - regardless of preexisting conditions. In addition, there could be a government-run public plan that might compete with insurance companies (Kaiser Health News).
Obama Returns To Grass Roots For Reform
As public skepticism mounts about President Obama's plans to overhaul the nation's health-care system, the political team that got him elected is returning to the online world of grass-roots activism in an attempt to reclaim control of the debate (Washington Post).
Obama Pushes Democrats For Unity On Health Plan
President Obama urged Democratic senators on Tuesday to persevere in trying to get a bipartisan deal on health care, but left open the possibility that they might have to pass a bill with only Democratic votes if Republicans stood in the way (New York Times).
White House Uses Web To Fight Misleading Health Care Effort
The White House is turning to the Internet to hit back at a Web posting that claims to show President Barack Obama explaining how his health care reform plans eventually would eliminate private insurance (Associated Press).
White House Launches Attacks On Attacks
The White House launched a coordinated effort Tuesday to combat what it calls a "viral whisper campaign" to torpedo health care reform (Politico).
Pelosi: A Committee Of One On Healthcare Legislation
It's up to her, working with fellow leaders and the House Rules Committee, to meld three drafts of the healthcare bill: the liberal version from the Education and Labor Committee, the centrist Blue Dog compromise from the Energy and Commerce Committee and the Ways and Means plan with a tax Pelosi (D-Calif.) already wants to change or maybe even scrap (The Hill).
Dems Appear To Set Deadline For Bipartisan Healthcare
At a White House luncheon today, President Obama praised Senate Democrats for efforts to find a bipartisan path to overhaul the nation's $2.5 trillion healthcare system. But the tone turned urgent when the president talked about the need to move a healthcare bill out of the Congress and to his desk this year (Christian Science Monitor).
With Bill Elusive, Democrats Pitch Small Ball
As if hedging their bets on health reform, Democrats are emphasizing smaller but still significant health-related investments this year, from food safety and community health centers to a greater emphasis on rooting out abuses in Medicare and Medicaid (Politico).
For Health Insurers' Lobbyist, Good Will Is Tested
For the insurance industry, long an opponent of health care reform, it was a striking change: with a new administration coming to Washington, insurers agreed to abandon some of their most controversial practices, like denying coverage to applicants with pre-existing medical conditions (New York Times).
Are Insurers' Profits As Low As They Claim?
As the health care overhaul battle moves out of Washington and onto the airwaves and Main Streets during the August recess, America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the trade association for the nation's health insurers, is fighting a familiar battle. It is fighting the perception that health insurance companies focus more on their shareholders' bottom lines than the interest of their patients (National Public Radio).
Groups Take Health-Reform Debate To Airwaves
The increasingly heated fight over health-care legislation is saturating the summer airwaves, with groups on all sides of the debate pouring tens of millions of dollars into advertising campaigns designed to push the cause of reform forward, slow it down or stop it in its tracks (Washington Post).
As Congress Goes On Break, Health Lobbying Heats Up
Groups of all stripes are blitzing lawmakers to shape a trillion-dollar health-care overhaul that would reach into every business and every home in the country. In the lobbying frenzy, many longtime allies are divided, often pitting hospital against hospital, retailer against retailer and doctor against doctor. And, not surprisingly, the fault lines emerge where the bills' provisions would cost them money (Wall Street Journal).
Gov't Insurance Would Allow Coverage For Abortion
Health care legislation before Congress would allow a new government-sponsored insurance plan to cover abortions, a decision that would affect millions of women and help shape national policy on the divisive issue (Associated Press/Washington Post).
President Obama's VIP Healthcare
When President Obama says he has the best healthcare in the world, he isn't kidding (LA Times).
Seniors Defend Medicare Plan Obama Calls 'Wasteful'
One of the largest spending cuts Congress could rely on to pay for an overhaul of the nation's health care system comes from a Medicare program President Obama has called a "wasteful" subsidy for the health insurance industry (USA Today).
Health Care Reform: Attempts To Set Billions Aside For Infrastructure Projects Like Bike Paths Face Uphill Climb On Capitol Hill
As Congress struggles to decide how America should take care of its sick, another controversy is simmering: whether health care legislation should include billions of dollars aimed at keeping people well (Chicago Tribune).
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