The Senate is heading toward a Christmas Eve vote to pass landmark healthcare legislation, but instead of holiday cheer, Democrats and Republicans are digging in for trench warfare.
Liberal Revolt on Health Care Stings White House - New York Times
In the great health care debate of 2009, President Obama has cast himself as a cold-eyed pragmatist, willing to compromise in exchange for votes. Now ideology — an uprising on the Democratic left — is smacking the pragmatic president in the face.
Without a 'public option' to compete with private insurers, the government would instead police the industry. But do regulators have enough authority to make a difference?
A Race to Win One More Vote for Health Bill - New York Times
The White House and Senate Democratic leaders seem willing to give Senator Ben Nelson, Democrat of Nebraska, just about anything he wants to win his support of major health care legislation. Anything, that is, but the item at the top of Mr. Nelson’s wish-list: air-tight restrictions on insurance coverage for abortions.
The foot soldiers of Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, organized to go into action when key elements of his agenda are at stake, aren’t universally enthusiastic about fighting for the health care compromise now before the Senate.
Kaiser Health Tracking Poll — December 2009 - Kaiser Family Foundation
The December Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds a dip on several measures of public opinion on health care reform. The number of Americans who say they personally will be better off if reform passes fell to 35 percent in December, down from 42 percent last month. Meanwhile, 27 percent say they will be worse off, and 32 percent said they don’t expect to see much of a difference. Similarly, 45 percent say the country would be better off if health care reform passes down from 54 percent in November. This compares to 31 percent who say the country will be worse off and 17 percent who see no impact. Public opinion in December looks more like it did in August, the last time this debate became so contentious.
To voters in this hard-luck town where stable factory jobs and the health care that came with them have long since disappeared, change looked good a year ago. Change came not only from President Obama, who narrowly won this swing state, but also from a mill worker-turned-high school civics teacher who had no political experience but ran on a promise to bring a progressive everyman's sensibility to Congress.