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Health Care Reform

NATIONAL
February 22, 2010 | By Christi Parsons
President Obama's new healthcare overhaul plan would give the federal government greater authority to stop rate increases imposed by health insurers, an administration official said late Sunday. The proposal, to be posted on the White House website Monday, would give the Health and Human Services secretary power to block premium increases that were deemed excessive. It also would set up a panel of experts charged with evaluating the healthcare market each year and determining what would constitute a reasonable rate increase.
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NATIONAL
February 22, 2010 | By Janet Hook
As President Obama seeks to revive his moribund healthcare initiative -- and arrest the precipitous drop in his political fortunes -- he is struggling with the consequences of one of his most important early decisions: letting Congress take the lead in designing his signature policy proposal. Leaving it to Congress put an unusually glaring spotlight on how Capitol Hill does business. The spectacle of Congress' horse-trading, secrecy and gridlock has fueled today's virulent anti-Washington mood.
NATIONAL
February 12, 2010 | By Tom Hamburger
Billy Tauzin, the chief lobbyist for the pharmaceutical industry who forged a private deal with the Obama administration to push the healthcare overhaul forward, will announce his resignation Friday, further complicating the outlook for passage of comprehensive legislation this year. Tauzin, a garrulous former Louisiana congressman, has been considered a brilliant and bold negotiator, particularly in mid-2009 when he cut a deal with the White House to back the healthcare overhaul that once seemed all but inevitable.
NATIONAL
February 8, 2010 | By Peter Nicholas
In a high-stakes bid to revive his healthcare overhaul, President Obama announced during a pre-Super Bowl television interview that he would convene a bipartisan summit in which Republicans and Democrats would try to forge a compromise while a national TV audience watched. Republican leaders indicated they would attend the Feb. 25 gathering, but said they want to start over -- tossing out the measures that passed the Senate and House last year. Speaking to Katie Couric of CBS, Obama said: "What I want to do is ask them to put their ideas on the table and then after the recess . . . to come back and have a large meeting -- Republicans and Democrats -- to go through systematically all the best ideas that are out there and move it forward."
NATIONAL
January 30, 2010 | By Noam N. Levey
President Obama's campaign to overhaul the nation's healthcare system is officially on the back burner as Democrats turn to the task of stimulating job growth, but behind the scenes party leaders have nearly settled on a strategy to salvage the massive legislation. They are meeting almost daily to plot legislative moves while gently persuading skittish rank-and-file lawmakers to back a sweeping bill. This effort is deliberately being undertaken quietly as Democrats work to focus attention on more-popular initiatives to bring down unemployment, which the president said was a priority in his State of the Union address on Wednesday.
NATIONAL
January 28, 2010 | By Noam N. Levey
Laying out a possible path to approving healthcare legislation, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) said Wednesday that the House should pass the Senate's version and then use a process known as "budget reconciliation" to make the changes some lawmakers are demanding. The politically fraught strategy might allow Democrats to salvage a version of the overhaul that senior lawmakers pushed through the House and Senate late last year. Because budget reconciliation requires only a simple majority in the Senate, it could enable Democrats to circumvent a threatened GOP filibuster.
NATIONAL
January 27, 2010 | By Peter Nicholas and Christi Parsons
With his State of the Union address tonight, President Obama aims to deliver a game-changing message, one capable of convincing Americans that his policies will create jobs, curb spending and restore prosperity. But with voter discontent over his healthcare overhaul running high and the recession's effects cutting deep, the president's trademark eloquence may not be the antidote to his troubles. Economists see little hope for substantial employment gains or the return of a robust economy between now and November's midterm congressional election, despite Obama's $787-billion stimulus package.
NATIONAL
January 25, 2010 | By Jim Puzzanghera
The Obama administration tried Sunday to steady itself and its top domestic priority after last week's stunning Massachusetts Senate upset, as a top White House official vowed to move ahead with comprehensive healthcare legislation because "the underlying elements of it are popular and important." "The president will not walk away from the American people, will not hand them over to the tender mercies of health insurance companies who take advantage" of them, White House senior advisor David Axelrod said on ABC's "This Week."
NATIONAL
January 24, 2010 | By Kim Geiger
Democratic leaders working to craft a healthcare bill were dealt a setback last week when Republican Scott Brown's Senate victory in Massachusetts cost them the supermajority needed to block filibusters. Now the fate of the overhaul is in doubt. If both the House and Senate have passed healthcare bills, why is it such a problem to turn one of them into law? It's now impossible for Senate Democrats to prevent a GOP filibuster, and it's unlikely any Republican would join the Democrats to help them pass the bill.
NATIONAL
January 23, 2010 | By Noam N. Levey
Senior Democrats on Capitol Hill, struggling to figure out how to resuscitate their stalled healthcare overhaul, are looking to move away from the politically explosive issue and turn to other legislation -- especially efforts to stimulate job growth. That could put off any formal debate of healthcare legislation for weeks, if not longer, senior lawmakers and Democratic officials said Friday. But it would allow the rattled party to focus on a more popular issue with voters while calming Democratic anxiety over healthcare in the wake of this week's Republican victory in the Massachusetts Senate election.
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