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Reid, Baucus introduce new unemployment extension bill

Faced with the fact that millions of Americans are losing their unemployment benefits and cutting into the national economic recovery, Tuesday night Sens. Harry...

Deal with Big Pharma haunts Democrats

Democratic leaders face a major decision now on health care reform-- yet another one this year that will throw into relief the interests that compete in American representative democracy. They have to choose between either closing the "doughnut hole" and offering full coverage for millions of low-income seniors on Medicare who need to buy prescription drugs or sticking to a deal they made with the nation's major drug companies. According to the deal, the government agrees not to use its bulk buying power to lower the cost of drugs, so long as the drug companies dole out $80 billion over the next decade to subsidize health reform.

Employment bill called ‘corporate giveaway’

WASHINGTON-- Last week, as House Democrats took to the floor with near-unanimous praise for legislation to help the unemployed and stimulate the fragile economy, Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) offered a wildly different message.

“This bill,” he said, “represents a textbook example of how not to deal with the economic challenges that our country faces.”

Latino leaders riled by role of immigration in health-reform debate

Latino lawmakers long ago gave up on the idea that illegal immigrants would receive any sort of subsidized insurance under a health-reform bill. They didn't imagine the debate would get so ugly that lawmakers would propose denying undocumented immigrants the right even to purchase private health insurance in this country, a proposal that flies in the face of free-market economic and personal responsibility political philosophies.

True tales of private insurance bureaucracy undercut arguments against reform

For Erinn Ackley, it was her father’s insurance company denying claim after claim for a bone marrow transplant to treat the leukemia that eventually killed him. For Mark Gendernalik, it was his insurer’s agent refusing referrals for diagnostic tests for his three-month-old daughter, who was suffering seizures. And for pediatrician Mel Stern, it’s been a decades-long scuffle with insurers over claims payments — a battle that’s forced him to stock his office with folks dedicated solely to the task of paperwork-shuffling and claims-haggling.

Democrats lost leverage early in health reform debate

Democrats pushing for a government-backed insurance option as part of their health reform strategy are finding out the hard way that, by taking single payer health care off the table early, they have little leverage now to force a strong public plan.

‘Gang of Six’ health reform draft plan hits the internets

The Hill’s Jeffrey Young scores big with an 18-page draft summary (PDF) of the health reform legislation being drafted, ever-so-carefully, by a small group...

During reform debate, senators still accepting mega industry cash

It should come as no surprise that health care companies, executives and lobbyists would target their political donations to the lawmakers who will guide...
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