NEWS

White House Affirms Deal on Drug CostNew York Times

Pressed by industry lobbyists, White House officials on Wednesday assured drug makers that the administration stood by a behind-the-scenes deal to block any Congressional effort to extract cost savings from them beyond an agreed-upon $80 billion.

Centrist Democrats Upbeat on Health Care BillNew York Times

After a meeting among Senate Democrats to hone their message on revamping health care, some centrist lawmakers who could deliver crucial votes expressed confidence Wednesday that they would be able to sign on to the legislation and sell it to their constituents back home.

Senators Closer To Health PackageWashington Post

Senate negotiators are inching toward bipartisan agreement on a health-care plan that seeks middle ground on some of the thorniest issues facing Congress, offering the fragile outlines of a legislative consensus even as the political battle over reform intensifies outside Washington.

Dem Congressman’s Office: His Life Has Been Threatened Over Health Care BillTPM

Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC) will not be hosting any town hall events this August — instead, he’s making himself available to constituents for one-on-one meetings about health care reform — and at least part of the reason is this: His offices have received threatening phone calls, including at least one direct threat against his life.

Reagan Admin. Economist: ‘Just Wait Until You See Medicare and Medicaid Done…By the Government’Think Progress

Reagan administration economist Art Laffer appeared on CNN’s Newsroom yesterday to debate health care with CAP Senior Fellow Judy Feder. At the height of the debate, Laffer offered a curious argument against health care reform.

CNN Refusing To Run Health Care Ad Critical Of Insurance IndustryThe Plum Line

The network — already taking criticism for declining to run an ad criticizing Lou Dobbs — is now refusing to run an ad nationally criticizing the insurance industry, the group that tried to place the ad tells me.

White House Invites Finance Senators to Health Care Chat New York Times

The bipartisan group of negotiators on the Senate Finance Committee — three Democrats and three Republicans – who have been working to fashion compromise legislation to overhaul the nation’s health care system has been invited to visit the White House on Thursday morning to meet with President Obama.

OPINION

GOP using paranoia to try reason out of health-care debateAtlanta Journal Constitution

The Obama White House has asked supporters of health-care reform for examples of emails that make allegations about reform that sound outlandish, fishy or misinformed. For example, that ObamaCare is going to force your grandpa to commit suicide.

Grassley Uses Kennedy’s Brain Tumor To Spread Fear Of Rationing Think Progress

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), ranking member on the Senate Finance Committee, has taken the lead role in negotiating the health care reform bill for the GOP. But earlier today during a radio interview with Iowa City’s KCJJ, Grassley steered the conversation with a caller toward rationing health care services among the elderly, one of the right wing’s favorite fearmongering tactics when it comes to health care reform. And as an example, Grassley cited Sen. Ted Kennedy’s (D-MA) brain tumor. Grassley said that in countries with government-run health care, Kennedy “would not get the care he gets here because of his age.” Instead, the government would decide to spend health care resources on younger people “who can contribute to the economy."

RallyingThe New Republic

On Tuesday afternoon I attended a health reform rally at Chicago’s Federal Plaza. (Readers should know that I attended in the capacity of a supporter/observer, and am not a fully detached reporter covering this one.) The event included impressive headliners: Representative Jan Schakowsky, Governor Pat Quinn, County Board President Todd Stroger, and many others. Wendell Potter, the former Cigna publicity executive, also spoke.

In a Plea for Health Reform, a Widow Picks Up Her Paintbrushes Dana Milbank

Regina Holliday will always remember the day the Senate took up health-care reform seven weeks ago. It was the day her husband died.

Teabaggers and Repbulicans Prevented from Hijacking Lloyd Doggett’s Town Hall in Bastrop, TexasDaily Kos

Representative Lloyd Doggett was the target of disruptions by screamers organized by Republicans, Teabaggers. and Americans for Prosperity, both at his office Friday, and at his appearance Saturday at a grocery store in South Austin. A Town Hall was scheduled for later Saturday afternoon in nearby Bastrop, and his staff was worried that there would be a repeat of the angry mob scene. Shouting, sign-carrying protesters did show up in Bastrop, and one later boasted that "Doggett did not get the reception he expected", which ironically is true since instead of an angry mob scene, Reresentative Doggett got two standing ovations. Bastrop’s Town Hall demonstrates why it is so important for us to show up at these events, and how the screamers were prevented from hijacking the event, while freedom of speech was preserved.

Jason Rosenbaum

Jason Rosenbaum

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