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WH slams Dean: ‘No rational person’ would oppose health bill ‘at this point’

UPDATE White House press secretary Robert Gibbs on Wednesday became the latest Democrat to offer a sharp rebuttal to Howard Dean over the former Vermont governor’s call to “kill” the Senate health care bill now that the bill includes neither a public option nor a Medicare buy-in option. “I would…

Sanders: America will embrace single-payer health care

WASHINGTON — Kicking off the debate on single-payer health care with a vote on his amendment Wednesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is confident the United States will eventually adopt such a system, his senior aide tells Raw Story. “The Senator thinks it makes so much sense and has worked so…

Franken slams GOP on Senate floor: ‘You’re not entitled to your own facts’

WASHINGTON — In a few moments of heated but controlled anger on the Senate floor Monday evening, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) slammed Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and the GOP for essentially lying about the nature of the Democratic health care bill, suggesting they haven’t read it. “We are entitled to…

Democrats cede more on health bill, including Medicare buy-in

Senate Democrats have ceded yet more crucial components of President Obama’s health reforms, dropping proposals for both a public option and Medicare buy-in, apparently caving to push-back from Republicans and centrist Democrats, according to a published report. “The general consensus was that [...] we shouldn’t make the perfect the enemy…

Another senator backs out of healthcare compromise

WASHINGTON — Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) has followed the fastidious Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) in withdrawing his support from the Senate health care compromise, which jettisoned the public insurance option in favor of a Medicare buy-in program for people 55 years and up. “I am concerned that it’s the…

White House pressuring Reid to negotiate with Lieberman?

UPDATE The White House is denying a news report that it is pressuring Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to negotiate a deal with Sen. Joe Lieberman on health care reform. “The report is inaccurate,” White House communication adviser Dan Pfieiffer told Greg Sargent at the Plum Line. “The White House…

ACLU: Obama’s reversal on Patriot Act reform ‘a major travesty’

Key components in the USA Patriot Act are set to expire at the end of the year, but President Barack Obama is seeking to extend them, reversing his stark opposition in the past to the same provisions. “The president’s reversal on Patriot Act reform is a major travesty,” said Michelle…

Maddow: Opt-out is Achilles’ heel of public option

Opt-out clause creates ‘incentive’ for conservative states to harm public health care, Maddow argues The opt-out clause now included in the Senate’s version of health care reform could cause the entire public option to fail, because it would reduce its ability to keep costs down, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow told viewers…

The Unbeatable Banzuke: Senate

I’ve been doing this long enough to remember back when filibustering was a tactic designed to obstruct the proper business of the Senate, a controversial Democratic practice that raised serious constitutional questions. Luckily, we’ve evolved to the point where it’s everyone’s fault. The Senate went home yesterday for the Fourth…

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