Senate Democrats from the liberal and centrist factions are engaged in increasingly urgent talks aimed at bridging the divide within the party over the public option in the healthcare reform bill.
Senate Backs Preventive Health Care for Women – New York Times
The Senate voted Thursday to require health insurance companies to provide free mammograms and other preventive services to women, and it turned back a Republican challenge to Medicare savings that constitute the single largest source of financing for the bill.
Reid’s recipe for getting health-care deal done – Washington Post
Of the Democratic senators who have set out to transform the nation’s health-care system, one of the least likely is Majority Leader Harry M. Reid, whose legislative priorities typically fall more toward protecting the interests of his native Nevada.
An amendment restricting abortions does not appear to have enough support to be attached to the Senate healthcare bill.
No bill, no benefits for lawmakers – Politico
If members of Congress fail to get a health care bill signed into law by Jan. 1, they will lose their insurance coverage. That is the goal of a bill that Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) will introduce Friday.
Brown: Vitter, Coburn won’t let me join amendment - The Hill
Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and David Vitter (R-La.) are preparing an amendment to force members of Congress into any public option health plan that becomes law, frustrating at least one Senate Democrat who wants to join the effort.
Reform or Else – Paul Krugman
Health care reform hangs in the balance. Its fate rests with a handful of “centrist” senators — senators who claim to be mainly worried about whether the proposed legislation is fiscally responsible.
Good News on Premiums – New York Times
The health insurance industry frightened Americans — and gave Republicans a shrill talking point — when it declared in October that proposed reform legislation would drive up insurance costs for virtually everyone by as much as thousands of dollars a year. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office persuasively contradicted that claim this week.
Earlier this week, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), one of the Senate’s most stalwart obstructionists, made a wild claim on the Senate floor intended to scare seniors. He told them that if the Senate health care bill passes, they’re “going to die soon.” Many in the media were quick to compare Coburn’s wild claim with the comments made by Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL), who noted that the GOP’s health care plan — which would either maintain or worsen the status quo — amounts to telling people “don’t get sick, and if you do get sick…die quickly.”
(compiled for Health Care for America Now)