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Daily Health Care News – 11/19/09


Senate unveils health-care billWashington Post

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid presented an $848 billion health-care overhaul package on Wednesday that would extend coverage to 31 million Americans and reform insurance practices while adding an array of tax increases, including a rise in payroll taxes for high earners.

Senate girds for historic debate on health bill Associated Press

After months of maneuvering, the Senate stands at the brink of a historic battle over health care with President Barack Obama and his allies on one side and Republicans, outnumbered but unflinching, on the other.

Reid plan ups pressure on moderatesPolitico

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid unveiled his $848 billion health reform bill Wednesday to broad support from fellow Democrats — and the move quickly turned up the pressure on the last few wavering moderates to support the plan, which includes a sizable chunk of deficit cutting.

Reid rolling out big guns to push healthcare bill to 60 needed votesThe Hill

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has recruited an all-star team of former senators — Vice President Joe Biden, Tom Daschle and Ken Salazar — to push healthcare reform over the finish line.

Nelson: I’m Comfortable Being Lone Democrat To Derail Reform Sam Stein

Ben Nelson, a key conservative Senate Democrats, said on Wednesday that he was pleased with the changes party leadership had made to health care legislation, specifically on matters of deficit reduction. But the Nebraska senator, whose vote has been elusive to pin down so far, said he would be comfortable being the lone Democrat to prevent the bill from overcoming a Republican filibuster.

Rising Prices of Drugs Lead to Call for InquiryNew York Times

Democrats in Congress asked for two separate investigations of drug industry pricing Wednesday as they continue working on legislation to overhaul the nation’s health care system.


Read the Bill Out Loud? Fine.Jon Cohn

As part of the Republican efforts to drag out the debate on health care reform bill, Senator Tom Coburn has been threatening to demand that Majority Leader Harry Reid schedule a full reading of his legislation before debate begins. Reid, in turn, is looking at alternatives, such as holding the Senate in session next week.

Reconciliation is in the Vicinity of the Table Matt Yglesias

I think the Senate leadership has good reason to not want to try to push health care reform through under the budget reconciliation process. But I also think it’s much easier to imagine a pretty good bill passing under standard procedure if it’s clear to Senators that the alternative to breaking a filibuster is reconciliation rather than no bill. That levels the bargaining position. Progressive members are being asked to support a bill that contains provisions they don’t necessarily like on the grounds that the overall package is better than the alternative. That needs to be a two-way street in which moderate members are, likewise, prepared to vote for a bill even if they don’t get there way on every single point. The prospect of reconciliation is the best way to motivate that choice.

(compiled for Health Care for America Now)

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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.