First Edition: October 7, 2009
A new poll offers some positive news for President Obama about his popularity ratings, but public concerns about health reform persist -- even as some high profile, outside-the-beltway Republicans lend conditional support.
4 Senators' Concerns Reflect Health Care Challenge
Senator John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia is upset that a health care bill poised for approval by the Finance Committee would turn nearly a half-trillion dollars over to insurance companies, whose profits he says are "out of sight" (The New York Times).
Obama Finds Support Outside Party And Washington For Healthcare Plan
With congressional Republicans defying him on healthcare, President Obama is trolling for prominent GOP officials and independents outside Washington who will publicly endorse his plans as the legislative fight moves toward a crucial phase (Los Angeles Times).
Reform Gets Conditional GOP Support
Seeking to provide fresh evidence of bipartisan support for health-care reform, the White House is orchestrating a series of endorsements from GOP heavyweights around the country (The Washington Post).
Patient Advocates Fear Bias In Wellness Incentives
On Capitol Hill, lawmakers seem eager to encourage employers to create and expand programs that tie a portion of workers' health insurance premiums to their willingness to change unhealthy behaviors. But there's growing concern that some of those programs represent a new way to discriminate against those in less than perfect health (NPR).
AP Poll: Obama's Job Approval Rises Amid Concerns
President Barack Obama's approval ratings are starting to rise after declining ever since his inauguration, new poll figures show as the country's mood begins to brighten. But concerns about the economy, health care and war persist, and support for the war in Afghanistan is falling (The Associated Press/The Washington Post).
Members Jockey For Seat At Reid's Table
It's the invite that every senator with an opinion on health care wants to get: a reserved seat at the conference table where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will merge two competing reform bills (Politico).
Baucus Not Worried About CBO Score
Senate Finance chairman expects panel to approve healthcare legislation in coming days after independent cost estimate (The Hill).
House Dems: Don't Tax 'Cadillac' Plans
More than half of the Democrats in the House have signed on to a letter denouncing a key element of the Senate Finance Committee's health care legislation as labor unions draw a line in the sand on paying for reform (Politico).
Health Bill Gives Some Groups A Break
Hospitals, coal miners and clinical labs are among the special interests that have won exemptions from taxes and other cost-cutting measures in a health care plan crafted by the Senate Finance Committee (USA Today).
State-Run Health Plans Garner Support
Some influential centrist Democrats in the Senate are warming to a compromise that envisions health-insurance plans run by state governments, and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger added his voice Tuesday to a small group of Republicans expressing support for a Democratic-led overhaul plan (The Wall Street Journal).
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