Health Care

UPDATED: Very, Very Close
March 21, 2010

(Click here to follow all the latest developments via Jonathan Cohn's Twitter feed.) John Larson, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, told ABC News' Jonathan Karl on Sunday morning that 216 of his members have committed to vote "yes" on the Senate's health care bill. NBC reported early in the afternoon that Michigan's Bart Stupak, who led a group of Democrats threatening to oppose reform over abortion rights, has agreed to support it. And while House Democratic leaders have been warning that final commitments are not nailed down--indeed, CNN has since reported that Stupak has not yet affi

Closing Arguments
March 21, 2010

(Click here to follow all the latest developments via Jonathan Cohn's Twitter feed.) My Saturday began on the West lawn of Capitol Hill, where conservative activists were mounting one final, desperate effort to block health care reform. They came by the thousands, carrying flags and pushing strollers, in a demonstration of genuine grassroots fervor. They chanted “Kill the Bill,” over and over again, in a vaguely menacing tone that, perhaps, foretold a bit of ugliness to come. But the most remarkable thing about the demonstration was how little it had to do with health care.

The AMA Endorsement and Why It Matters
March 19, 2010

In rapid succession, the AARP and American Medical Association (AMA) have endorsed health care reform. This is consistent with what they've said all year long. And it's important all the same. Democrats need both groups' support, not because of their fundraising clout but because of their credibilty with the public. Older voters, in particular, take cues from the groups. When conservatives say the Democrats want to kill Medicare or, worse, kill Grandma, it helps when Democrats can respond by citing the approval of these two organizations.

Late-Breaking Developments
March 19, 2010

The latest developments on health care, via my Twitter feed:    

A Viewer's Guide to This Weekend
March 19, 2010

Sarah Binder is a professor of political science at George Washington University and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. She is the author of several books on Congress, including Stalemate (Brookings 2003) and Politics or Principle? Filibustering in the U.S. Senate (Brookings 1997) co-authored with Steven Smith. All eyes this weekend will be on the House, as it takes up health care reform for what is possibly (and hopefully) the last time.

Endorsements That Matter
March 19, 2010

When people talk about important endorsements, they usually mean endorsements from interest groups, politicians, or maybe editorial pages. But the endorsements that matter most to me are the ones that come from people who understand public policy and share my values. And nobody fits that description better than Bob Greenstein, head of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Few experts in Washington command more respect than he does. Even conservatives agree he is as honest as he is smart.

Required Reading: The Bill and the Volsky Chart
March 18, 2010

Here is the actual legislation, direct from the House Rules Committee website. More important, perhaps, here is the easy-to-read, essential-for-understanding breakdown from Wonk Room's Igor Volsky. Can't read one without the other.

This Is What Fiscal Responsibility Looks Like
March 18, 2010

Just now at the White House press briefing, a reporter (I couldn't tell who) pressed spokesman Robert Gibbs about how the administration could be confident of cost savings, given that the Congressional Budget Office itself admits projections deep into the future contain enormous uncertainty. I'm sure reform critics will be making the same argument in the next few days, and that it will reinforce doubts many Americans already harbor. So let's be clear about why this is wrong. No, these projections are not a precise science.

Health Care Reform's Finished Draft (Updated)
March 18, 2010

Democrats have submitted the final draft of health care reform. It should get a good grade. After weeks of negotiation, they have agreed upon a set of amendments to the Senate health care bill. The changes mean the package as a whole will cover more people, and save more money, than the Senate bill would have originally. House Democratic leaders are saying enactment would produce biggest deficit reduction act in 17 years. House Majority Whip James Clyburn described himself as "giddy." The Democrats had to confront some tough trade-offs, too. And the amendments reflect that.

Dems Get the CBO Score They Want
March 18, 2010

Democrats in the administration and Congress have agreed on a set of amendments to the Senate health care bill.

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