The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Health Care

Biden Plans Move to Health Care Frontlines Next Week

By Ceci Connolly
Fresh off his trip to Iraq, Vice President Biden will wade deep into the health-care debate next week, according to administration sources.

Biden is slated to give his "first major health policy address" Tuesday to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and on Wednesday visits the Leisure World retirement community in Silver Spring.

On the subject of Obama and health reform, seniors have been the most skeptical age group in the nation. That's a major concern for the White House because retirees vote in large numbers, particularly in mid-term elections. Biden, who will be joined at Leisure World by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and White House health czar Nancy-Ann DeParle, plans to "talk directly to seniors about how changes in Medicare will not affect them medically and will in fact, strengthen the system," said an aide who was not authorized to be quoted.

Biden's higher profile also will also come during a week in which President Obama will turn his focus to foreign policy.

Perhaps more importantly, Biden will be reaching out to an array of lawmakers to press the case for bipartisan enactment of a bill that expands insurance coverage and holds down skyrocketing costs. After spending 36 years in the Senate, Biden's role will be less as a health policy expert and more as a peer.

"Health care has not been a signature issue for him. The expertise he brings to bear are his relationships in the Senate," said one staffer. "He is somebody who can have really candid conversations with members about what they need. He has their trust and if he says, 'We'll push this for you,' they can take his word to the bank."

In addition to fellow Democrats, Biden plans to court Republicans in the administration hunt for health care votes. Just as he did during debate on the economic recovery package, his list of targets will include the two GOP senators from Maine, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, as well as Republicans George Voinovich of Ohio and Richard Lugar of Indiana.

Don't forget, Biden fans are quick to note, it wasn't long after those stimulus package negotiations that Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter switched parties from Republican to Democrat.

Posted at 3:54 PM ET on Sep 18, 2009  | Category:  Health Care
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Posted by: theoldmansays | September 25, 2009 10:57 AM

I just hope VP Biden spurs the emergence of some true leaders so desperately needed -- and lacking -- in the health reform legislation debate in Congress (

Posted by: alisonjo2786 | September 21, 2009 1:24 PM

It is impossible to get across to the majority of people against reform that we have reached crititcal mass in an industry in which, to not do anything, will result in the complete failure of both the private insurance as well as the health care system itself. Private health insurance is slowly but surely reaching the point of no return as to their business policies in which they whittle off more and more groups and raise prices on the remaining as their profit making scheme. However, this continued trend has them eventually eliminating customers to oblivion and a complete crash of this type of business. What happens along the way is the demise of the smaller insurance companies first, then the middle size, then, the monopoly of the largest 10 will suffer since they will then have prices so high none other than the richest employers or persons will be able to afford their coverage. Stocks will drop to pennies and then these businesses will die. At that point, we will all be eligible for public insurance so it will be a non-necessity to have this private industry at all. Let us do nothing and allow these companies to collapse and die. That will show them. Most of us may suffer along the way, but then again many of us have been suffering anyway with no coverage so joining that in that group will be an eye opener.

Posted by: bonnieblue12 | September 21, 2009 9:08 AM

Good News - even if there is no health care reform, at least health care providers can continue to charge more money, AND deny coverage! YES!

enjoy my song, special thanks to FOX and RushL.

I hope you like it please pass this along

Posted by: unhealthydebait | September 20, 2009 8:57 AM

Forget Swine Flu. The far more serious Stupid Right-winger Flu (SRF) is epidemic in the comments to this story. It causes the afflicted right-wingers to say even more stupid things than usual. No facts, no critical thinking, no reason. Just right-wing slogans, false statements, ad hominem attacks, whacky theories, and paranoid delusions.

Extrajudicial GPS-activated vigilante Gestapo? Directed energy weapons deployed to silently torture and degrade the health of American citizens? If you aren't joking, please stay away from pointy objects.

"What a joke this administration has become in just 10 months." Um, 8 months. President Obama pulled the world back from the brink of economic armageddon, ended the longest U.S. recession since WWII, brought Americans closer to universal health care than any previous president though they've been trying for 80 years, and replaced a plan for a monumentally expensive ballistic missile defense shield that wouldn't work with a less expensive option that will work, can be deployed sooner, and already has the Russians making concessions. If that's your idea of a joke, then your sense of humor is more warped than mine.

"tell pelosi that 1.7 million teaparty goers marched and there wasnt A SINGLE ARREST? does that sound like violence?" Only Rupert Murdoch's network reported more than 700k. I'm guessing you're too young to remember Dan White had never been arrested before he assassinated Mayor Moscone and Harvey Milk. There was a lot of extreme rhetoric and paranoia then as now. There are 30 threats on the life of President Obama on an average day. That's 4 times as many as for Bush. It only takes one wing-nut enflamed by hyperbolic discourse to bring catastrophe. I lived through the assassinations of John Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, George Moscone, Harvey Milk, and too many others. So has Speaker Pelosi. Extreme, irresponsible talk like we're hearing from Tea-baggers kills.

Posted by: dmbraddy | September 19, 2009 8:23 PM


• Obama agenda, rule of law subverted by fed-funded, extrajudicial GPS-activated vigilante Gestapo that is protected by local law enforcement and has operatives within health care facilities -- compromising the quality of patient care.

* Microwave/laser radiation "directed energy weapons" deployed to silently torture and degrade the health of unjustly targeted American citizens -- the weaponization of the electromagnetic spectrum.

• "Intelligence-based policing" a pretext for a security/military/intel social purge executed at the grassroots with the cooperation of local law enforcement.


BAN BY EXECUTIVE ORDER the use of microwave/laser directed energy weapons on American citizens...

...and the warrantless, covert tracking of individuals via GPS devices or cell phones -- the electronic backbone of a nationwide American Gestapo.

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled): RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | September 19, 2009 12:32 PM

Go JOE! We need you to rally the seniors who are being scared out of their gourds by misinformation from the Republicans and their corporate health care sponsors.

Incredibly, even O'Reilly said yesterday that he wanted a public option - see the video --

Posted by: minnesotamama | September 19, 2009 11:57 AM

Democrats should embrace the “Triggered Option Plan” by Republican Snowe and end the debate. IMO here is how it would work.

White House should negotiate with the Insurance companies, just like it did with other stakeholders -Pharma and Hospitals. Insure all, no denial of coverage and permit portability. Immediate 30% reduction in premiums and another 20% reduction over next two years. Half the savings to come from Insurance and the other half from the delivery of care. This will reduce healthcare cost from 17% GDP to 11%; making American business competitive in the world. With such a deal, all sides should be on board to sign off on a bill. If the insurance companies do not deliver, the Public Option will deliver by 2012.

For insurance companies, the immediate reduction in premiums will be offset by the new 47 million getting insured with govt / taxpayer help. The reduction in premium costs will help American business and reduce govt subsidies to those who need help. The immediate benefit to working Americans will be a bird-in-hand, if the insurance companies renege on bringing down healthcare costs.

The 47 million presently uninsured are already covered by those with insurance who pay an effective 17% surcharge on their insurance. The important issue to be alert is that the insurance companies with the blessing (payback) from politicians do not keep the 17% charge for “uncompensated care” while we, the tax payers again pay to subsidize the new beneficiaries.

Posted by: rad21 | September 19, 2009 11:57 AM

Joe may be a bit verbose. But he's a real guy who still takes the train home to Delaware after all these years in the senate. He has been a tireless fighter on behalf of the working class and the elderly. He's endured his share of tragedy, so he understands the human condition and empethizes with the every day concerns of regular Americans. To this day, his net worth remains among the more modest of those who serve in public office. His entre into this debate will carry weight with middle class Americans who work hard, play by the rules and struggle to provide for their families. He's a good man and will be a valuable asset to the President in getting this insurance reform passed. He speaks - sometimes a bit too long winded - but he speaks for us.

Posted by: jef305 | September 19, 2009 2:49 AM

Dig up Curly, Moe and Larry to help Obama as well. SNL will have material for the next 10 years.

What a joke this administration has become in just 10 months. Biden along with Pelosi, Frank, Reid have befuddled Obama supporters with stupidity that makes Bush look like a Rhodes Scholar! Stimulus, healthcare, clunkers, now "Carterizing" our foriegn policy.

Wow. Obama has already passed the Carter ineptitude like one of those Iraqi scuds missing everything they aim at.

Posted by: bgPhil | September 18, 2009 10:25 PM

In addition to Joe Biden, the American Medical Association (Doctors) and the AARP (Services for seniors) are actively refuting Republican distortions and lies. They have offended much more than the administration, and the truth is is a good place to start.

Posted by: AffinityGW1 | September 18, 2009 10:15 PM

Ah, the man from DUPONT who for decades stonewalled investigations into the diseases caused by their chemical factories.

He bears a lot of responsibility for cancer rates and other diseases related to DUPONT; can't wait to hear him dance around the role of Dupont in ruining the health of millions of people!

Posted by: Common_Cents1 | September 18, 2009 10:03 PM

Wonderful, send old Joe out there to stumble around for a while . . . that should really help.

Posted by: rplat | September 18, 2009 9:54 PM

Great! Obama's drunken uncle is coming to town to "help" him.

I'm going to grab my popcorn and have fun watching.

Posted by: Ombudsman1 | September 18, 2009 9:51 PM

Joe Biden? Who's next? Obama must really be getting desperate if Biden is being let off his leash.

Posted by: screwjob | September 18, 2009 9:33 PM


Posted by: djrhood | September 18, 2009 9:32 PM

This story first broke here early this morning:

Posted by: talleyrand1 | September 18, 2009 9:13 PM

Well, that's a near-death experience.

Posted by: WylieD | September 18, 2009 9:03 PM

This is exciting news indeed. Biden. LOL.

Posted by: justthefacts08 | September 18, 2009 8:45 PM

No loss for words. He'll do well.

Posted by: blakesouthwood | September 18, 2009 8:37 PM

maybe bin biden will wash that old trans am on the white house yard again........lots of good old plugged head will be.

Posted by: charlietuna666 | September 18, 2009 8:30 PM

Republicans seem to have no ideas at all or nothing to add to the conversation. That is typical.
They think calling people names gets their point accross.
So do little children.

Posted by: AffinityGW1 | September 18, 2009 7:54 PM

"Biden to join healthcare push" that's rich. How many votes did Joe Baby get in the presidential election, around 12? Ceci Connelly should be writing for MAD magazine..

Posted by: SMWE357 | September 18, 2009 7:50 PM

Well that means that the health care plan is finished. Joe "the sheriff" will certainly drive the nail in the coffin.

Posted by: gsms69 | September 18, 2009 7:28 PM

Fascinating how Joe Biden is doing international work, trying to resolve issues in Afghanistan, Iraq, getting friendly with Russia, etc. and now getting involved in domestic Health Care issues. More power to him having two jobs. Meanwhile Hillary Clinton, I believe our State Department Representative is resting from breaking her arm, travelling to Africa (where a local kid asked her about husband Bill), and then rubbing elbows with IQ95 Dutch Crown-Prince William Alexander in New York last week. All jokes aside give Biden a payraise and fire Hillary.

Posted by: ridagana | September 18, 2009 6:31 PM

"Biden Plans Move to Health Care Frontlines Next Week"

The opponents of a government-controlled healthcare system COULD NOT BE HAPPIER that plagiarist-joe will mouth-off on this issue!!!!!!

Watch the level of support for obamacare further plummet with each absurd utterance of plagiarist-joe.


Posted by: LoonyLeft | September 18, 2009 6:20 PM

Joe, about that stimulous package, Goldman Sachs gave out millions before you got it passed, and now they give out billions.

Maybe it is time for that mutiny we have been waiting for from you out here Joe.

It is time to make #2 number one and just say Obama is MAdd as a Hatter.

Posted by: dottydo | September 18, 2009 5:52 PM

Biden keep us all happy and come out to say that American health care is good, but the people who want to change it are azwipes, in your own little way.

WE like it when Obama is mad at you.

Posted by: dottydo | September 18, 2009 5:47 PM

if the dems lose virginia and new jersey how will the dems vote then, we are a month away from the elections...
lets all find out...

Posted by: DwightCollins | September 18, 2009 5:47 PM

biden is a moron...
he will provide many a soundbite for reasons to not elect dems...
bring him on...

Posted by: DwightCollins | September 18, 2009 5:44 PM


Any health care reform bill needs to include:

1. Legalization of gay marriage.
2. Evolution is the law of the land.
3. Limits on neo-con Christianity.
4. Legalization of illegal drugs.
5. Funding for abortions.

Posted by: Maddogg | September 18, 2009 5:37 PM "

people like you that pervert our society deserve to go first...

Posted by: DwightCollins | September 18, 2009 5:42 PM

Any health care reform bill needs to include:

1. Legalization of gay marriage.
2. Evolution is the law of the land.
3. Limits on neo-con Christianity.
4. Legalization of illegal drugs.
5. Funding for abortions.

Posted by: Maddogg | September 18, 2009 5:37 PM

I love Joe Biden. I'm pleased to hear he's jumping in on health care, particularly in getting out there and talking to senior's (though I'm certain he'll come by a few mouth crazy geezers). Record them, they're so dam funny, because they're serious.

Go get'em Joe! Biden is a wonderful speaker, he's very candid and there are a lot of us who love Joe specifically for his straight talk. What I adore about Biden is the fact that he's not a money grubbing fat cat. Joe has made a good earning, but he proves that he doesn't love money more than anything like some politicians. I know Joe was very instrumental in helping Obama get elected. We're still with you Joe. The people who said it’s time to bring in Biden made the right move.

Posted by: nancykulka | September 18, 2009 5:36 PM

With Obama bin Biden on the job, the multi-trillion dollar, ObamaCare boondoggle is a surefire failure.

Go Joe!

Posted by: battleground51 | September 18, 2009 5:32 PM

nychap44, your answer is simple. Biden isn't pushing us/leading us into war. Cheney was a hawk and always ready to risk your life to fight his battles. He, like Bush, did not serve.

Posted by: YUTZ | September 18, 2009 5:12 PM

When a hawk dodges combat it's pretty disgusting.

When a dove avoids combat it's a demonstration of integrity.

I proudly avoided war. Those who live by the sword will die by the sword. Take it up with Jesus.

Posted by: rooster54 | September 18, 2009 5:10 PM

Biden joining the frontlines?

Excellent, I haven't had a good laugh in weeks.

Bidenism.... "Even if we wanted to keep it the way we have it, we can’t do it financially. WE’RE GONNA GO BANKRUPT AS A NATION. Now people say why do you say that… unintelligible… YOU’RE TELLING THEM THAT WE GOTTA SPEND THE MONEY TO KEEP FROM GOING BANKRUPT? THE ANSWER IS YES. I’M TELLING YOU!"

Posted by: jdcw | September 18, 2009 5:07 PM

Love YOUR enemies.

He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love.
Materialism is idolatry. Pride is a grave sin. The teabaggers are of the same spirit that demanded the murder of Jesus.

Repent. We progressives really care about the well being of everyone.

Posted by: rooster54 | September 18, 2009 5:06 PM

Joe Biden received 5 deferments during the Vietnam War era. Dick Cheney also received 5 deferments during that period. Their deferments were pretty much for the same reasons. Education and marriage.
Biden, after his deferments were up was disqualified for military service for some sort of confidential medical reason.

Why was Cheney pilloried for his deferment and hardly any mention was made of Biden's similar, if not identical deferments?

Posted by: nychap44 | September 18, 2009 5:04 PM

Love you enemies.

Posted by: rooster54 | September 18, 2009 5:02 PM

With Biden's help, they will have 62 votes to pass health care bill in 2009. Repuke party will diminish to 38 members in the US senate.

Posted by: healthinsuranceripoff | September 18, 2009 5:00 PM


"Those who accuse Obama, or me, of evil when we try to help those in need, are making the same mistake as those who chose to reject Jesus' good deeds, because we do what we do in the name of Jesus."

My God says you're WRONG.

We are our brother's keeper.



Then we'll talk.

Not one second before.

Posted by: russpoter | September 18, 2009 4:54 PM

When Jesus healed a young girl he was accused of using demonic power to cast out demons. He pointed out that a house divided against itself cannot stand, and that it is absurd to think a good deed is a manifestation of Satan.
It was then, in the context of those whose prejudices pitted them against a benevolent act of God, that he warned against blaspheme of the Holy Spirit, the unforgivable sin. If you put shackles on Gods hands as He does his work, you only succeed in refusing to let him heal and forgive you.
Those who accuse Obama, or me, of evil when we try to help those in need, are making the same mistake as those who chose to reject Jesus' good deeds, because we do what we do in the name of Jesus.
You cannot reject goodness, without rejecting the Author of all that is good.

Posted by: rooster54 | September 18, 2009 4:38 PM

Will Biden say "this is about a 3 letter word... Health care"

Spector went democrat because he wasn't going to make it out of the republican primary in PA. It wasn't Biden's charm. Sestak or Toomey will be the next senator from PA, and Spector can be let out to pasture.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | September 18, 2009 4:38 PM

I thought Biden was killed by rocket attacks during his recent visit to Bagdad.

Otherwise, how do we explain his relative silence?

Posted by: tropicalfolk | September 18, 2009 4:33 PM

No question the White House considers the period from now until the end of the month a crucial time in the reform debate. No other reason to push Michelle and Biden out to the front on issues they haven't even come close to recently.

Posted by: parkerfl1 | September 18, 2009 4:33 PM

Isn't the president's major initiative in enough trouble? Perhaps The White House wants "Fighting Joe" to "step in" to take the fall. I'm surprised; despite O'Reilly constantly intoning that the Public Option was "dead," I felt the president and the Congress were at least relatively confident of victory with its inclusion.

Posted by: HassanAliAl-Hadoodi | September 18, 2009 4:27 PM

Can't wait for Biden to weigh in. Then Health Care Reform will be rebranded as "Laugh In."

Posted by: EvreeMan | September 18, 2009 4:26 PM


He gets the New England Journal of Medicine to LIE for him.


RE: General Questions and Comments: The Regressivity of Taxing Employer-Paid

Thursday, September 17, 2009 8:36 AM

From: "Guth, Lindsay"


Dear Mr. XXX,

Thank you for your feedback.

Perspective articles are opinion-oriented -- not research-oriented -- so relevant affiliations are not against our policy for these articles.


Lindsay Guth
Perspective Researcher
New England Journal of Medicine
P: 617-487-6539
F: 781-207-6529

-----Original Message-----

From: NEJM, Customer

Sent: Friday, September 04, 2009 10:56 AM

To: NEJM Editorial; NEJM, Comments

Cc: Johnson, Louisa

Subject: FW: General Questions and Comments: The Regressivity of Taxing Employer-Paid

Dear Colleague,

I am forwarding the customer comments appearing below which pertain to your area. I have responded to this customer advising that their comments have been forwarded to the appropriate area within the company.

Judy Benford
Customer Service Representative

-----Original Message-----

Sent: Thursday, September 03, 2009 6:53 PM
To: NEJM, Customer
Subject: General Questions and Comments: The Regressivity of Taxing Employer-Paid

To the Editors:

about this --

The Regressivity of Taxing Employer-Paid Health Insurance

Did the NEJM feel the need *not* to identify the two authors as the founders of the MD single-payer group "Physicians for a National Health Program?"

Why? Reputable publications fully disclose their writers' major memberships.

Very, very disappointing.

This supports the claims that NEJM is very biased to one political group.

Posted by: russpoter | September 18, 2009 4:22 PM

Oh great.
Now the VD(Vice Dumbas$) will be out there talking down to the people.

Wonder how many times the nitwit will put his foot in his big fat mouth?

Posted by: LarryG62 | September 18, 2009 4:21 PM

Obama: Legalize illegals to get them health care

I guess Joe Wilson wasn't a liar afterall.

Posted by: charlietuna666 | September 18, 2009 4:20 PM

U r friking kidding me. OK have him drone on.

Posted by: affirmativeactionpresident | September 18, 2009 4:19 PM

You know the Dems are in trouble when they roll out Plugs Biden

Posted by: rg019571 | September 18, 2009 4:14 PM

amount of hands on board will not change the product. obama has a poor product.

Nancy goes for an Oscar
Michell claims its an EQUALITY ISSUE
Obama finds Churches despite not being able to find one to become a member of.
and now BIDEN?

ITS THE PRODUCT, GUYS..... THE PRODUCT!!!!! not amount of bodies.

Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | September 18, 2009 4:07 PM

Thank goodness, Biden is now on the job. Now us opponents of a government take over of Healthcare are assured that the administration will fail in this power grab. As soon as ole Joe opens his mouth, we will win.

Posted by: slainte1 | September 18, 2009 4:06 PM

off topic but will someone please tell pelosi that 1.7 million teaparty goers marched and there wasnt A SINGLE ARREST? does that sound like violence?

but then again, this is the same woman who said she didnt know about ACORN'S problems?


Posted by: ChooseBestCandidate | September 18, 2009 4:04 PM

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