Thursday, December 17, 2009

Health Care Bill: The Current Picture

President Obama: Federal Government 'Will Go Bankrupt' if Health Care Costs Are Not Reined In
ABC's Karen Travers reports from Washington:
President Obama told ABC News’ Charles Gibson in an interview that if Congress does not pass health care legislation that will bring down costs, the federal government “will go bankrupt.”
The president laid out...

Health care bill can pass without Rep. Anh 'Joseph' Cao's vote, Nancy Pelosi says
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday that she believes that a final health care bill can pass the House even without anti-abortion language adopted earlier, and without the backing of Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao of New Orleans, the lone Republican to vote for the bill when it passed the House 220-215 in early November.

Colo. Sen. Udall Touts Medical Malpractice Plan
A medical malpractice proposal is on its way to Congress from a judicial think tank in Colorado.Democratic Sen. Mark Udall planned to introduce a plan Thursday to tweak rules for malpractice trials. The plan has the backing of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver.

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

Olbermann joins call to kill bill
Keith Olbermann became the latest progressive icon to voice opposition for the Senate health care reform bill on Wednesday. Olbermann, host of MSNBC’s “Countdown,” wrote in a post on the Daily Kos that he agrees with former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, who has told numerous media outlets that because the bill provides too many concessions and does not constitute real reform, Democrats should “kill the bill.”

Landrieu says she will vote for health care reform bill
Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu said Tuesday she will vote to pass a Democratic bill to overhaul the nation’s health care system, calling the latest proposal a “dramatic improvement’’ over previous versions.

Amendment To Allow Drug Importation Fails In Senate
A bipartisan plan to allow Americans to buy cheaper prescription drugs from suppliers in other countries, such as Canada, failed Tuesday in the Senate.

Sens. Reid, Casey Continue Work On Abortion Coverage Compromise Language
Negotiations between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. Robert Casey (D-Pa.) to craft compromise language on abortion coverage in the Senate health care reform bill (HR 3590) continued on Tuesday with the hopes of gaining antiabortion-rights Sen. Ben Nelson's (D-Neb.) support for the bill, Politico's "Live Pulse" reports (Frates, "Live Pulse," Politico, 12/15).

Sanders says 'as of this point' he won't vote for healthcare bill
By Jordan Fabian
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said late Wednesday that he cannot support the Democrats' healthcare reform legislation in its current form.

Senate struggles to pass health care bill
In the wake of President Obama's announcement this week that the Senate is on the verge of passing the health care reform bill, a time line and vote are still up in the air.

Health care reform faces roadblocks
A new poll finds that negativity is now shared by the American public. Senior democrats say there is more to love than to hate in their health care bill, fighting naysayers in both parties.
The senate debate on health care was stalled on purpose Wednesday afternoon. In an effort to stop debate, one republican required a 700-page amendment be read out loud.

Passage of Senate Health Care Bill Could Hinge on Abortion Funding
With Sen. Joe Lieberman apparently on board the health care reform train and the public option off the table, Senate Democrats are turning their attention to what could be the last remaining hurdle to passing a bill out of their chamber -- abortion funding.

GOP tries to delay vote on health bill
Senate Republicans vowed Wednesday to use every available tactic to delay voting on the health care bill, as Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., scrambled to unify Democrats in support of the legislation.

Constituents tell McCaskill she will 'go to hell'
By Jordan Fabian
Sen. Claire McCaskill on Wednesday took to Twitter to air the comments of two constituents who told her she would "go to hell" depending on how she voted on healthcare reform.

Howard Dean versus the White House
By Brent Budowsky
Things are getting hot between Howard Dean, who has called for the defeat of the pending Senate healthcare bill, and the White House, which is very angry with Dean. Here is my take:I completely agree with Howard Dean about the Senate bill. This has now become an embarrassment for the Democratic Party and the president, who have been neutered by Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.).

Left eases threat to kill health bill
By Alexander Bolton
Liberal groups and labor unions have pulled back from calls to kill the Senate healthcare bill.

Ahead of the Bell: Engineering and construction
Engineering and construction firms may gain from a bill passed by Democrats in the House aimed at spurring job growth.The Senate will still need to take up the measure next year. But FBR Capital Markets analyst Alex Rygiel said the "Jobs for Main Street Act of 2010," which passed Wednesday, "could could bode well for several engineering and construction contractors" as it directs tax dollars toward infrastructure projects.

20% of Americans lacked health insurance in last two years: MedCity Morning Read, Dec. 17, 2009
Highlights of the important and the interesting from the world of health care:
One in five lacked insurance: Nearly one in five Americans lacked health insurance at one point since January 2008, a new survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed. That equates to 58.4 million of our fellow Americans. Perhaps more disturbingly, a whopping 11 percent of Americans went more than an entire year without health

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