Now it is Senator Harry Reid ’s health care bill. The majority leader’s deep personal involvement in assembling the overhaul of the health care system — now on the brink of a historic Senate debate — has, for better or worse, conferred ownership of the legislation on Mr. Reid, Democrat of Nevada. Should Mr. Reid shepherd the measure successfully through the Senate and meld it with the House version into final legislation that President Obama can sign, it would be the biggest accomplishment of his career. Should the bill fall victim to the complex political, procedural and substantive fights raging around health care, it would be a stinging defeat for him, his president and his party — all while he faces a tough re-election fight at home. Colleagues say Mr. Reid’s extensive knowledge of Senate tactics and well-honed understanding of what drives and divides his Democratic colleagues leave him well positioned to pull off a legislative coup that has eluded seasoned and determined lawmakers for decades.
Reid, as Legislative Tactician, Takes Ownership of Health Care Overhaul - http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/20/health/20reid.html?ref=us
Democratic leaders in the Senate on Wednesday unveiled their proposal for overhauling the health care system, outlining legislation that they said would cover most of the uninsured while reducing the federal budget deficit. Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, said at an evening news conference that the legislation, embodying President Obama ’s signature domestic initiative, would impose new regulations on insurers, extend coverage to 31 million people who currently do not have any and add new benefits to Medicare. Mr. Reid said the bill, despite a price tag of $848 billion over 10 years, would reduce projected budget deficits by $130 billion over a decade because the costs would be more than offset by new taxes and fees and by reductions in the growth of Medicare.
Senate Says Health Plan Will Cover Another 31 Million – http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/19/health/policy/19health.html?bl
The Senate version of sweeping health legislation would cover five million fewer people than a companion bill passed by the House, but it would cost less, in part because Senate Democratic leaders felt they had to win support from fiscally conservative members of their party. The Senate is expected to vote Saturday on whether to take up the legislation. The majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, refused to say Thursday whether he had the 60 votes needed to clear that procedural hurdle. While the guts of the Senate and House bills are similar, Mr. Reid came up with a new method of financing coverage, not found in any other major health bill. His proposal would significantly increase the Medicare payroll tax for high-income people. The Senate and House bills would provide coverage to millions of the uninsured by expanding Medicaid and subsidizing private insurance for people with moderate incomes.
Senate Health Care Bill Faces Crucial First Vote – http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/20/health/policy/20health.html?ref=policy
A coalition of Christian leaders — including the country’s Catholic bishops — put President Obama on notice Friday that it would vigorously fight any health care reform legislation that allows federal funding for abortions. ”A health care bill can be a great, great blessing to our country,” Philadelphia Archbishop Justin Rigali said during a press conference Friday on Capitol Hill. “But we make a distinction between health care and killing.” More than 150 Christian leaders, most of them conservative evangelicals and traditionalist Roman Catholics, issued a joint declaration reaffirming their opposition to abortion and gay marriage and pledging to protect religious freedoms. The 4,700-word document, called “The Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience,” was unveiled one day before the Senate is expected to consider it’s sweeping health care bill that includes a measure permitting abortion funding. ”We’re counting on legislators to make sure that this is not part of what’s going to rule the lives of people,” Rigali said. “Any bill that has abortion in it has to be rejected.” New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, who is among 15 Roman Catholic bishops who have signed the document, forcefully opposes overturning the decades-long restriction on federal funding of abortions.
Bishops Press Obama to Strike Senate Provision Allowing Federal Abortion Funding – http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/11/20/christian-leaders-issue-conscience-pl
Sen. Reid’s health care legislation would expand Medicaid, but leave states with part of the additional cost. “We all know a sucker play when we see one,” said Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana. Digging in for a long struggle, Republican senators and governors assailed the majority Democrats’ newly minted health care legislation Thursday as a collection of tax increases, cuts in services for the elderly and heavy new burdens for deficit-ridden states. Despite the criticism, indications were growing that Democrats would prevail on an initial Senate showdown set for Saturday night, and Majority Leader Harry Reid, the top Democrat, crisply rebutted the Republican charges. He said the bill “will save lives, save money and save Medicare,” the main health program for the elderly. The legislation is designed to answer President Barack Obama’s demand to expand coverage, end insurance industry practices such as denying coverage on the basis of pre-existing medical conditions, and restrain the growth of health care spending. Still, Republicans saw little to like Reid’s legislation awaiting the Saturday night Senate vote. ”It makes no sense at all and affronts common sense,” said Sen. Judd Gregg, one of several Republicans to criticize the measure. He added that a plan to expand Medicaid, the state-federal program for the poor, was a “bait and switch” with states as the victims. Republican governors, meeting in Texas, agreed. “We all know a sucker play when we see one,” said Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana. The bill would expand the Medicaid program, which provides health care for the poor, and leave the states with part of the additional cost beginning after three years. Medicaid is administered by the states.
Republicans Blast ‘Bait and Switch’ Health Bill– http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/11/20/republicans-blast-bait-switch-health/
Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., remained mum Thursday on whether she will deliver a crucial vote Saturday night to enable the Senate to debate health-care reform when it returns from the Thanksgiving holiday.But Landrieu has already succeeded in adding a provision to the 2,074-page Senate version of the health care bill unveiled this week that would provide Louisiana between $100 million and $300 million in Medicaid funding in fiscal 2011. While the Republican National Committee immediately charged that Landrieu has made a “backroom deal with (Senate Majority Leader) Harry Reid for her support of the government takeover of our health care system,” Alan Levine, Louisiana secretary of health and hospitals in the Jindal administration, said that even those who oppose the bill ought to be grateful that Landrieu used her leverage to try to fix the state’s so-called “FMAP” problem. ”Look,” said Levine, who has been lobbying the administration and Congress on the FMAP issue for eight months, “it’s good to have a senator in a position to be able to make demands like that.”
Sen. Mary Landrieu holds off on taking health care stand, while pressing for aid for Louisiana – http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2009/11/sen_mary_landrieu_holds_off_on.htPosted in Flu, health insurance, patient care, Physicians, pre existing conditions Tagged: access, affordable health insurance, Congress, Congress news, Democratic agenda, Democrats, device manufacturers, Harry Reid, health, health care, health care reform, health insurance, health insurance access, health Insurance exclusions, health insurance reform, health news, health plans, health policy, health reform, health reform news, healthcare, Hospitals, House of Representatives, income tax, Insurance, insurance access, insurance benefits, mandated health coverage, Medicaid, medical care access, medical news, Medicare, medicine news, news, opt-out, options, patient care, patients, personal health responsibility, Pharmaceuticals, Physicians, political news, politics, pre existing conditions, President of the United States, public option, public plan, selective taxation, Sen Reid, Senate news, Senator Harry Reid, taxes, underinsured, uninsured