NEWS

Pelosi Vows to Pull Out Stops to Pass Health CareThe Hill

Echoing President Barack Obama’s call for lawmakers not to abandon their beleaguered push for a health care overhaul, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) vowed Thursday to take as long as necessary to pass a comprehensive package.

AG finds clout of hospitals drives costBoston Globe

Massachusetts insurance companies pay some hospitals and doctors twice as much money as others for essentially the same patient care, according to a preliminary report by Attorney General Martha Coakley. It points to the market clout of the best-paid providers as a main driver of the state’s spiraling health care costs.

Battling for Health Coverage as Cancer SpreadsNew York Times

Rashidam Shakirova moved from Atlanta to New York in 2008 so she could earn more as a home health-care aide — $9 an hour instead of $7. But she now believes that her new job indirectly took a drastic toll on her health.

Mary Landrieu Blasts Obama Over Health CareHuffington Post

President Obama is taking heat from a Senate Democrat over how he dealt with the issue of health care in his first State of the Union speech.

High-Ranking House Democrat Predicts Health Bill Approval This YearKaiser Health News

Even as House Democrats turn their attention to jobs and the economy, House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller predicted Thursday that Congress will pass health care overhaul legislation this year.

Drug Lobby Group: Health-Care Bill ‘Up in Air’ - Wall Street Journal

The chairman of the drug industry’s main trade group in the U.S. said the group "hasn’t withdrawn support" for the version of health-care reform passed by the Senate, but that the Massachusetts election has "thrown everything up in the air a bit."

Emanuel: Democrats Not Dropping Health CareNew York Times

Some observers have wondered whether Democrats are quietly planning to abandon President Obama’s sweeping health care overhaul. But Mr. Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, insists that is not the case.

Obama in “close consultation” with Democratic leadershipPolitico

Some congressional Democrats have criticized President Obama for not weighing in on how they should proceed with health care reform, but a White House official said today that the president is in “close consultation” with leadership.

OPINION

It Can Be DoneJacob Hacker

Americans’ long wait for health care reform ended last night — around 30 minutes into President Obama’s speech. But when he finally got to the issue, his words were clear: “Let’s get it done.”

David Axelrod: "Reconciliation is a tool that is there to be used."Ezra Klein

"The Republicans have it both ways," David Axelrod said in a conversation with a handful of journalists this afternoon. "They have the ability to block, but they assign us the responsibility to govern." But pressed for the White House’s answer to that dilemma, Axelrod fell back on platitudes. "They either work with us or they have to pay the price for working against us," he replied. But what price?

You Call This a Better Idea?Tim Jost

Although President Obama’s primary health reform message in his State of the Union was "do not walk away from reform,” “finish the job” and “let’s get it done,” he also said, “But if anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors, and stop insurance company abuses, let me know.” At this invitation, congressional Republicans rose to their feet with John Boehner waving his hand, as Newsweek reports, “appearing to almost expect being called upon.”

Pelosi Determined to Get Health Reform DoneMatt Yglesias

Nancy Pelosi is probably my favorite politician. Not just because she has good values about what policies she supports, but because in a Washington that often seems obsessed with process, point-scoring, ego, and positioning she’s a rare leader who actually puts accomplish things that impact people’s lives in a positive way at the center of what she’s doing. And you see that loud and clear in this statement of her determination to do health reform.

(compiled for Health Care for America Now)