Tales from the Trail

Healthcare critic Lieberman silenced in Senate

December 18, 2009

USA-HEALTHCARE/Senator Joe Lieberman, who has forced Democrats to jump through hoops on healthcare reform in recent weeks, was effectively told to be quiet and sit down on Thursday.

What will be in Obama’s Christmas stocking?

December 14, 2009

The last thing Republicans want to see this Christmas is the U.S. Senate giving President Barack Obama a nicely wrapped package of health care reform legislation.

Can Obama keep Democrats in line on healthcare to the end?

December 9, 2009

So President Barack Obama goes to Capitol Hill over the weekend and late Tuesday Senate Democrats reach a healthcare compromise on a public insurance option (Republicans oppose the legislation so every Democrat vote is needed to move it along). OBAMA/

Senate surprise: tax cosmetic surgery

November 19, 2009

The Senate’s healthcare reform legislation published by Democratic leaders last night included a big surprise for anyone saving up to enhance or undo what God gave them — a new 5 percent tax on elective cosmetic procedures. OBAMA/

Clinton hopes for success where his effort failed

November 10, 2009

Former President Bill Clinton is clearly hoping that Congress succeeds this time around where his administration failed 15 years ago.

Obama admits to mistakes, but no big ones

November 10, 2009

Barack Obama says he probably makes one mistake a day, but doesn’t think he has made any fundamental ones in almost 10 months as president of the United States.

CBO: Good news, bad news on Republican healthcare plan

November 5, 2009

The Congressional Budget Office, Congress’ non-partisan score keeper on the cost of legislation, has some good news for Republicans and the alternative healthcare proposal they plan to offer in the House of Representatives. Their plan would save the federal budget deficit $68 billion over 10 years and on average reduce insurance premiums compared to what they would be under current law.

Dems see silver lining for healthcare in election results

November 4, 2009

Republican victories in the Virginia and New Jersey governors’ races may send shivers through Democratic circles, but what does it mean for President Barack Obama’s ambitious proposal to overhaul the $2.5 trillion healthcare system?

Democrats fire back at Republican health plan

November 3, 2009

Democrats, who have been on the defensive in a partisan battle over¬†their sweeping healthcare overhaul, are firing back now that Republicans are preparing an alternative in the U.S. House of Representatives.hoyer-and-pelosiHouse Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters that Republicans will get a vote on their proposal when the House considers the Democratic-written legislation possibly later this week.Hoyer, a Democrat, did not shy away from offering his own opinion about the Republican bill, saying it would allow insurance companies to sell policies across state lines and would “gut consumer protections and encourage a race to the bottom.”Republicans argue the provision would inject more competition into the market and help lower premiums. But Hoyer said insurers would flock to states with the fewest consumer protections, sell their policies at low prices and that many consumers would discover in the middle of a health crisis that their policies don’t offer adequate protection.Other provisions in the bill, as outlined by House Republican Leader John Boehner, would encourage insurers to “cherry pick” and enroll the healthiest people, Hoyer said.The Republican proposal also leaves out major market reforms contained in the Democratic bill that would bar insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions or charging more based on medical history.A summary of the House Republican proposal is to be made available here.Boehner argued that the Republican plan aims to rein in soaring insurance premiums, but Hoyer and other Democrats say it would do little to expand coverage or make healthcare more affordable.”It doesn’t provide for insurance availability for all Americans,” Hoyer said. “It does little to expand access to coverage or address the $1,000 to $1,100 extra that every American is paying for people who do not have coverage and therefore add to the uncompensated care in hospitals.”Click here for more Reuters political coveragePhoto credit:¬† Reuters/Joshua Roberts (House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is greeted by Speaker Nancy Pelosi at healthcare event)

Some U.S. health insurers deny coverage to abuse victims, White House notes

November 3, 2009

USA/In eight U.S. states and the capital, Washington, D.C., being beaten by your spouse or domestic partner can be deemed a “pre-existing condition” that a company can legally use as a reason to deny health insurance coverage. Valerie Jarrett, a top adviser to President Barack Obama, raised the issue in a web chat making the White House’s case for healthcare reform on Monday.