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Sunday, June 21, 2009

In the Balance: Health Care's Must-Win in Peril..

The success of the Presidency of Barack Obama is on the line. It is imperative that a health-care bill pass WITH a public option. Seventy-one per cent of the America people want a universal health care system that includes the public option. Fifty-seven percent say they would be willing to pay more taxes for universal health-care. Yet, conservative Democrats and Republicans in the Senate will attempt to block the public option. Obviously, they are not listening to the will of the people and what we as a nation need. Our economy is drowning in the for profit system that enriches the medical industry at the cost of the nation’s populace. They owe their souls to the “company stores” we call hospitals, the AMA, the pharmaceutical industry. Theirs is not the interest of the people. The reluctant need to have letters/Twitters sent to them. Check out Bill Maher’s assessment of the Democrats and Republicans at this stage of our history. RGN

Obama May Lack Votes for Health-Care, Feinstein Says (Update1)

By Gopal Ratnam
June 21 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama may not have enough votes in the U.S. Senate to pass his effort to overhaul the nation’s health-care system, California Democrat Dianne Feinstein said.

“I don’t know that he has the votes right now,” Feinstein said today on CNN’s “State of the Union” program. “I think there’s a lot of concern in the Democratic caucus.” Controlling costs of the new system is a “difficult subject.”

Republican Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana said on the same program that the overhaul should be done slowly, and not this year, to ensure it doesn’t “threaten the basic structure of the economy.”

Congress is working to meet an October deadline that Obama, a Democrat, set for signing the legislation into law. As a presidential candidate he pledged to expand coverage to the 46 million people who lack health insurance while lowering the cost of a system of care that makes up 17 percent of the economy.

Iowa Republican Senator Charles Grassley said on CNN that the Senate Finance Committee is “dialing down some of our expectations” of the legislation in response to an estimate by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that earlier options under consideration would cost $1.6 trillion.

“Our goal is affordability,” said Grassley, who is the top-ranked Republican on the finance panel.

‘Running Away’

Senators from both parties are wary of health-care overhaul because of the $1.6 trillion cost estimate, Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, said on ABC’s “This Week” program today. The budget office calculation “was a death blow to government-run health care plan,” he said.

Democratic senators are “running away from the government- run health care where the bureaucrat stands between the doctor and the patient,” Graham said. The Finance Committee “has abandoned” the plan, he said.

Democratic Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania said the idea of delaying action on the legislation until next year is a mistake.

The last thing the American people “want us to do is to wait and delay for 2010 or 2011, because this is the economic threat to our country,” Casey said. “If we don’t get this right and get it done, American families are going to pay far too much.”

Most Americans are willing to pay higher taxes so everyone can have health insurance and back a government-run insurance plan to compete with private insurers, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll. The poll of 895 adults conducted June 12-16 had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

To contact the reporters on this story: Gopal Ratnam in Washington at
Last Updated: June 21, 2009 12:09 EDT

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