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The Waiting Room

*Here’s a quick wrap-up of today’s health care news. *

Reactions to President Obama’s speech to Congress on Wednesday continue to pour in. A Democratic National Committee internal memo shows that in a focus group, support for Obama’s health reform plan increased by nearly 40 percent among voters who hold a negative or neutral opinion of the president. They responded particularly favorably to his lines about holding insurance companies accountable; the memo encourages Democrats to continue using this language.

After a rough day yesterday, in which his opponent raised more than $400,000, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) saw a return to greener pastures today. He’s now raised around $700,000 (according to a “Republican source”) since his outburst during Obama’s speech. And his less-than-tactfully-presented charge that illegal immigrants would benefit from the proposed reform has Democratic leaders revisiting the relevant language. However, it does appear increasingly likely that he’ll receive a formal censure.

Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), the most likely Senate Republican to cross the aisle and forge a health care compromise, has confused some observers with her demands for altering the reform plan. She wants to increase the subsidy threshold from 300 to 400 percent of the poverty line, which would necessarily raise the price tag of the legislation. But she also wants to reduce the cost from $900 billion to $800 billion — evidently an arbitrary figure to create the appearance of concessions from Democrats. And Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) insists he’s still at the table, working toward a bipartisan agreement.

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