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Daily Health Care News – 8/10/09


Obama’s grass-roots network is put to the testLos Angeles Times

A group that helped elect the president is being reshaped to push healthcare legislation.

Poll: Americans divided on health care overhaulUSA Today

As supporters and opponents of overhauling the health care system try to shape public opinion at congressional town-hall-style meetings, both sides face a big complication: Public opinion on the issue is complex in ways that defy an easy Republican-Democratic divide.

Key Democrat Feels the Heat After Voting for House PlanWashington Post

"The war’s on," says Rep. Baron P. Hill, and he’s not talking about a conflict overseas, but a battle over health care in his own back yard, where thousands of people are trying to tell him what to do, some not so nicely.

S.C. health care meetings calm The State

Unlike in other states, no violent protests as reform advocates speak

Senator Maria Cantwell tells Bill Press: "Yes, I do" support a robust public optionNorthwester Progressive Institute Advocate

It looks like the question of whether Senator Maria Cantwell is really for a public option or not has finally been answered.

Drug Industry to Run Ads Favoring White House PlanNew York Times

The drug industry has authorized its lobbyists to spend as much as $150 million on television commercials supporting President Obama’s health care overhaul, beginning over the August Congressional recess, people briefed on the plans said Saturday.

Grassley’s health talks draw fire within party Des Moines Register

Sen. Charles Grassley, the Iowan in the middle of Congress’ continuing debate over health care reform, expects an earful at public meetings he has planned in Iowa this week, but not from his typical political opponents.


Uwe’s Nightmare: Why Co-ops Will Be Crushed By Private Insurers Think Progress

Yesterday, the Washington Post reported that the Senate Finance Committee was considering replacing the public health insurance option with “a network of co-ops.” Proponents believe that a truly consumer-drive health plan that elects a board of directors and hires a CEO could reduce costs for its members and champion delivery system innovations that improve care quality and efficiency.

The Urge to PurgeJon Cohn

One of the great ironies of the health care debate is that small business owners tend to be most wary of reform, even though they are the employers who probably stand to gain the most. To see why, consider the insurance company practice of "purging," which Senator Jay Rockefeller (along with some allies) is spotlighting this week.

60 Plus Ad Is Chock Full Of MisinformationMedia Matters

On Friday August 7, 2009, the conservative 60 Plus organization released an ad meant to encourage senior citizens to oppose health insurance reform. However, lacking any factual support for their argument, 60 Plus relies entirely on misinformation and scare tactics in order to activate seniors into opposing reform.

Is There a Deal to be Made on Health Care? An Interview WIth Sen. Lindsey Graham. Ezra Klein

Earlier this week, Sen. Lindsey Graham was the sole Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee to vote in favor of Sonia Sotomayor. A few days later, he co-signed an op-ed in The Washington Post with seven Senate Democrats and four other Senate Republicans that began, "We refuse to let partisanship kill health reform." If there’s a deal to be made on health care, he’ll probably be at the center of it. Earlier this week, I spoke with Graham about the pitfalls of bipartisanship, the Wyden-Bennett bill, and what an eventual deal on health-care reform might look like. A shortened version of the interview appeared in the Outlook session. This longer transcript was lightly edited for clarity.

The Best Health Care Reform UnitedHealth Could Buy –

I’ve just read something that closely mirrors the health care reformer’s worst nightmare – that the current attempt at reform has been so intent on getting special interests to play nicely that it’s conceded too much. That health insurance companies, they of the business practices that at some point decades ago turned from social insurance to big-profit HMOs, have used their money, their power, and their “under the radar” assets to tailor a reform bill that will allow them to actually make more money than before. It reads so much like what single-payer advocates have been warning for years, that some might chalk it up to a leftist conspiracy.

AFSCME’s Rockin’ Down the Highway to Health Care ReformAFL-CIO

If the nation’s lawmakers don’t start heading down “The Highway to Health Care Reform,” too many working families may end up on—cue AC/DC—the “Highway to Hell.”

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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.

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