June 24, 2009

SO THE ONLY PROBLEM WITH THE BILL IS THAT IT'S SECOND WAY:

'Public Option' May Be Highest Hurdle in Senate (Shailagh Murray, 6/24/09, Washington Post)

Even as senators make strides in reducing the emerging legislation's overall cost, the notion of disrupting the private insurance market by injecting federal competition has stoked passions on both sides and created the kind of wedge that President Obama and Democratic leaders had sought to avoid in the debate.

On the left, the group MoveOn.org is running ads criticizing Sen. Mary Landrieu (La.), a moderate Democrat, for voicing objections to a government-sponsored plan. Former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean will lead a coalition of advocacy groups to Capitol Hill on Thursday to rally for the cause. On the right, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has delivered at least 10 speeches in recent weeks blasting the idea, and has pledged unified Republican opposition if Democrats proceed. That could spell stalemate for the health-care bill in the Senate, where the minority has numerous options for obstructing bills.

Private insurers warned in a letter last week to Senate Health Chairman Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) that expanding the government's role in health care would lead to "devastating consequences," including steep reductions in employer-sponsored health coverage.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 24, 2009 6:47 AM
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