First Edition: August 7, 2009
Today's headlines note that partisan battles and Medicaid cost concerns take center stage in the Democratic leadership's push to maintain health reform momentum during Congress' August Break.
Reform Could Strain Community Health Centers
While the health care reform debate rages on Capitol Hill, sitting just a mile away is the Walker-Jones Health Center in Northeast Washington, one of about 1,200 federally-qualified community health centers across the country that provide free and reduced-cost care to millions of Americans (Kaiser Health News).
Senate Health-Care Negotiators Hope To Keep Deal Alive During Break
Senators headed home for their August break Thursday amid an escalating partisan battle over health-care reform, with a small band of lawmakers hoping to keep their delicately negotiated compromise alive until Congress reconvenes in September (The Washington Post).
Democrats Weigh The Calculus Of Public Option
As Congress breaks for its August recess, the debate back home will center on Democratic proposals to create a government-run insurance option, which insurers and Republicans are casting as a step toward socialized medicine (The Washington Post).
Senators Hear Concerns Over Costs Of Health Proposal
Senior members of the Senate Finance Committee, trying to put together a bipartisan bill to guarantee health insurance for all Americans, were told Thursday that their proposals might be unaffordable to states and to many low-income people (The New York Times).
Democrats Say No To Cost Cap For Drug Manufacturers
Congressional Democrats said Thursday that they intended to push the Obama administration to back away from its deal with the drug industry to cap its share of the costs in a health care overhaul (The New York Times).
Medicaid Costs Fueling Dispute Between States, Senate
President Barack Obama is trying to quell a potential showdown between Congress and state governors over Medicaid spending (The Hill).
Governors Fear Added Costs In Health Care
The governors worry Congress will give the states expensive new Medicaid obligations without providing enough new money to pay for them (The New York Times).
White House Backs Senators On Deal With Drug Makers
The White House, faced with flaring tempers at town hall meetings around the country, is taking sides in an emerging fight between lawmakers in Washington, supporting the Senate and the drug industry against House Democrats (NPR).
White House To Democrats: 'Punch Back Twice As Hard'
Top White House aides gave Senate Democrats a recess battle plan on Thursday, arming the lawmakers with tips for avoiding disastrous town hall meetings while showing them polling on popular aspects of the reform effort (Politico).
White House Advises Dems On Health Care Protests
Top White House officials counseled Democratic senators Thursday on coping with disruptions at public events on health care this summer, officials said, and promised the party and allies would respond with twice the force if any individual lawmaker is criticized in television advertising (Associated Press).
France Fights Universal Care's High Cost
France claims it long ago achieved much of what today's U.S. health-care overhaul is seeking: It covers everyone, and provides what supporters say is high-quality care. But soaring costs are pushing the system into crisis. The result: As Congress fights over whether America should be more like France, the French government is trying to borrow U.S. tactics (The Wall Street Journal).
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