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The Rundown

A Good Friday for Obama?

By Ben Pershing
Oct. 2 could end up being one of the Obama administration's better days, as health-care reform cleared a key hurdle this morning and the president made an in-person pitch that may have secured the 2016 Olympics for his hometown.

The Senate Finance Committee finished slogging its way through hundreds of amendments in the wee hours of Friday morning, setting up a final committee vote next week and the next stage in the reform fight. "As the panel completed the measure that is expected to form the backbone of health-reform legislation, a political consensus large enough to carry the plan to final passage appeared to emerge," the Washington Post writes. The way forward is less than clear, as Senate leaders must produce a combined bill and then navigate it through another barrage of amendments on the floor. Harry Reid said Thursday, "We are going to have a public option before this bill goes to the president's desk," though it's not clear exactly what he meant. Will Tom Carper's compromise proposal to give states the option of including a public plan be enough to assuage liberals? Jonathan Cohn points out that the bill already appears to give states that option, based on language that Ron Wyden successfully added before the markup began.

Across the aisle, the New York Times observes that Republicans "have seized on a new line of attack: that the proposed overhaul is a vehicle for a barrage of hidden and not-so-hidden tax increases." Actually, the line of attack is not so new, but it has gotten louder in recent days as Democrats' reform plans have inched closer to reality. John Boehner claimed Thursday that he had not met "anyone" in his travels who actually supported a public option, and claimed the idea was "about as unpopular as a garlic milkshake." Predictably, that brought forth a parade of Democrats accusing the Republican leader of being out-of-touch, and some angry garlic aficionados. Conservatives are also concerned about this twist: Following the example of the government's crackdown on companies that got financial bailouts, the Finance panel voted to limit the compensation for executives at health insurance companies that get significantly more business as a result of health-care reform, the Wall Street Journal notes.

Continue reading at Political Browser »

Posted at 8:30 AM ET on Oct 2, 2009  | Category:  The Rundown
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1645 MILTON 'Colast.' Wks. 1851 IV. 358, I mean not to dispute Philosophy with this Pork, who never read any.

Posted by: edtroyhampton | October 2, 2009 3:48 PM

hercster44 and SeniorVet:

Not only did Obamas lose the Olympics, but your premise is wrong -- Bejing lost BILLIONS last year -- I want to know how much U.S. Taxpayers spent flying the Obamas (and Oprah?) over there.

Posted by: JakeD | October 2, 2009 12:11 PM

Re "Health Care Reform"...
I have 3 recent MEDICARE BILLING DOCUMENTS in my possession that PROVE 3 CT. DOCTORS HAVE BEEN PAID TO ENABLE "nerve pain torture" and "microwave hearing/24 hr. auditory torture by persons claiming to be "C.I.A.".
Yesterday, I SENT THEIR NAMES and Medicare billing information to President Obama at "". He ignored the data!
No wonder Medicare is going broke! Obama and his A.G.s are spending it all on "human experimentation" which was FIRST ENABLED BY PRESIDENT BUSH! All PRESIDENT OBAMA NEEDS TO DO TO END THIS "NAZISM" that
has crept into the U.S. is RESCIND THE BUSH
EXECUTIVE ORDER THAT CONTINUES TO ALLOW MILITARY CONTRACTORS AND "C.I.A." TO torture U.S. citizens to death! (Yes, some of us are beginning to die from using us as experimental rats; my systolic and diastolic blood pressure markers have already disappeared to a "flat line" instead of a heartbeat.) Our organization in the U.S.A. and now worldwide is called "INTERNATIONAL ALLIANCE AGAINST COVERT ELECTRONIC ABUSE". Yes, the U.S.A. didn't stop with just torturing/testing how
long U.S.A. citizens could survive being kidnapped out of our own homes by local police; taken nonconsenually to one hospital for "experimental alternations" that allows U.S.A. government to "program" our death, our life, our loss of liberty and USE YOUR MEDICARE MONEY TO FINANCE THE EFFORT! Anybody ready to look at my Medicare billing documents yet???

Posted by: marycrockett54 | October 2, 2009 12:02 PM

Some days I can't believe what I'm reading. I come from Montreal which is a city that hosted both the Olympics and the "World's Fair" (Expo 67). The jobs start about 2 days after these events are awarded. Everything is kicked up for years before and years after. It doesn't take six months, it is maybe six days. Besides, there is a big increase in pride, positive attitude and spirit for the city and the country as a whole. I accept that things are still tough and not just in the US I assure you. But try to imagine what it would be like with another four years of republican ineptitude in place. The soup kitchens would be more common than the coffee shops.

Posted by: hercster44 | October 2, 2009 11:31 AM

That trip to make his pitch for the olympics will surely bring more jobs to the Chicago area if it materializes. Of course, it will be a few years before jobs will materialize, say five or six....All those people presently unemployed can wait until then, can't they? Maybe we can have their unemployment benefits extended a few more additional years!

Posted by: SeniorVet | October 2, 2009 11:03 AM

Planet D.C. is certainly a different place than Planet Earth.

Ben Pershing describes a "good friday" for President Obama on Planet D.C. Meanwhile, back on Planet Earth the rest of us see 9.8% unemployment, a $1.65 Trillion deficit, continued foreclosures, still tight credit, a severely weakened dollar, huge impending tax increases, the loss of American power internationally, and the savaging of the U.S. private sector.

Dear Ben, please come visit us soon!

Posted by: pilsener | October 2, 2009 10:27 AM

While the President of Chicago is in Denmark to bring home the gold, health care legislation is in tatters and unemployment is now 9.8%, the worst in 26 years.

Yay for the Stimulus!

I guess if Obama brings home the gold for Chicago he'll get a news cycle (a week on CNN) to avoid the criticism he's going to get for jet setting during an economic crisis.

Posted by: MHust | October 2, 2009 9:46 AM

I think Obama sold us out on Health care. People expected universal health care and now the rem is even gone:

Posted by: CRich1 | October 2, 2009 8:48 AM

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