The Daily Dose
What with all the death panel talk and senatorial waffling, it’s hard to keep track of the latest developments in the health care reform debate. So we’ll do the work for you. At the end of each day, TWI will run The Daily Dose, a recap of the health care stories of the day that tracks the prospects for reform. Starting … now.
In the wake of health care pioneer Sen. Ted Kennedy’s passing, the Democratic leadership in Congress is renewing its push for a public option. This morning, House leaders distributed a memo to congressional Democrats, reminding them that the public option has widespread popular support. On the Senate side, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who up to this point has mostly kept mum on a public plan, is now explicitly supporting such a plan, saying, “We have a problem in America and it’s called the private insurance industry.” Of course, Kennedy’s death deprives Democrats of their 60th vote in the Senate, and so they’re scrambling to fill his seat with a like-minded lawmaker.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the aisle, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) is predicting that the growing federal budget deficit will necessarily limit the scope of health reform. He also maintains that a bipartisan health care bill is still possible — provided the Democratic leadership doesn’t “overrule” or “undercut” it. And Republicans aren’t the only ones pushing back against Obama’s health care proposal: cardiologists and other specialists are wary of Obama’s plan to emphasize preventive care at the expense of emergency treatment.