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Daily Health Care News – 9/9/09


Obama to Endorse Public Plan in SpeechWall Street Journal

President Barack Obama, in a high-stakes speech Wednesday to Congress and the nation, will press for a government-run insurance option in a proposed overhaul of the U.S. health-care system that has divided lawmakers and voters for months.

Employer Requirement in Baucus Health Package Would Have Unintended Effect of Discouraging Hiring of Low-Income and Minority WorkersCenter on Budget and Policy Priorities

While an employer responsibility requirement is an essential component of health care reform, a proposal included in the new health reform package that Senator Max Baucus unveiled this weekend would have serious consequences, particularly for low-income and minority workers and women.

Dodd to stay as Banking chairPolitico

Sen. Christopher Dodd’s expected announcement that he will remain in charge of the Banking Committee should give a big boost to his longtime colleague Tom Harkin while setting off a shuffle on other Senate panels.

First thoughts: Obama’s three audiencesMSNBC

*** Snowe patrol: If there’s a third audience tonight — following Joe and Jane from Kansas City and progressives — it’s the lone Republican who remains a real player on health care: Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe. Her support, and her ability to bring along a conservative Democrat like Ben Nelson on something like the trigger, is the formula for Democrats getting 60 in the Senate and being able to bypass the tricky (and uncertain) reconciliation process. How important has Snowe become? Important enough that the liberal group Health Care for America Now (HCAN) is running a grassroots and advertising campaign just in Maine, which stresses that reform must include 1) allowing people to keep their health insurance if they like it; 2) forcing the insurers to behave; and 3) providing a public insurance option.

Bill Clinton, Then and Now: The Esquire InterviewEsquire

In a sprawling discussion of his past and our common future, the former president compares his administration’s early years with Obama’s and talks about what he believes — in health care and next year’s midterms — is about to happen

Democrats Target Federal Subsidies for Medicare’s Private Plans Kaiser Health News

MIAMI – Besides giant retirement communities and early bird specials, seniors here have embraced something else: privately run Medicare health plans that are an alternative to the traditional government-run program.

Pelosi’s trump card: the public optionPolitico

Nancy Pelosi finally has a trump card.

Ben Nelson: Don’t count on my vote – The Hill

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) says that Democratic leaders should not count on him to be the 60th vote for passing healthcare reform this year.

‘Gang of Six’ strives to wrap up health care billUSA Today

WASHINGTON — The Senate Democrat overseeing negotiations on a bipartisan health care bill said he hopes to reach an agreement in principle on the legislation by the time President Obama begins his speech to Congress tonight.


Member Of Failed GOP "Solutions Group" To Deliver Republican Response To Obama Media Matters

Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA), a cardiothoracic surgeon, will deliver the GOP response to President Obama’s health care address tomorrow. Greg Sargent has a preview of what to expect.

What Would Snowe’s Trigger Look Like?Jon Cohn

It looks like the White House’s endgame may very well include a public option trigger, as a means of bringing Olympia Snowe and other key centrists on board. In fact, Obama met with Snowe today to talk about the bill, so there’s no question that her ideas and concerns are being taken quite seriously. But what would a Snowe-endorsed trigger actually look like? Today, I spoke with some sources close to the debate and got a clearer picture of the kind of fall-back plan she’d be inclined to support:

How Does The Baucus Framework Compare To The Other Health Care Proposals? Think Progress

The so-called ‘Gang of Six’ will be meeting today at 2:30pm to consider Sen. Max Baucus’s (D-MT) broad framework for a bipartisan health care bill. Previous reports have indicated that the committee was replacing the employer mandate with a free rider provision, establishing a cooperative in place of the public option, and financing reform by taxing ‘Cadillac’ health care benefits.

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Jason Rosenbaum

Jason Rosenbaum

Writer, musician, activist. Currently consulting for Bill Halter for U.S. Senate and a fellow at the New Organizing Institute.