Tara Culp-Ressler: A recent study conducted by Harvard researchers estimated that as many as 17,000 people will die directly as a result of their states refusing to expand Medicaid.
Lucia Brawley: Polls showed a majority of Americans wanted Obama to compromise more. He did. In the election, no one can say he is the unreasonable one.
Bill Fletcher: Nationally, the Republicans are advancing their ‘final offensive’ against unions and, in the words of noted columnist, Harold Meyerson, seek to repeal the 20th century.
Robert Reich: My free advice to the President: If you want to get healthcare enacted you must use reconciliation and quickly. Host your bipartisan gab fest at the White House on Thursday. Then tell the House and Senate to get to work on putting their bills together (or tell the House Dems to enact the Senate bill and then save their disagreements for reconciliation), and tell Harry Reid you want the Senate bill on a fast track of reconciliation.
Any crumb that could have been thrown: Medicare buy-in for 55-64, state’s right to establish single payer or reimportation of prescription drugs was swept off the table. (Notice I intentionally left the weak feckless public option off that list).
I’m still not giving up. I want every Senator who’s not in the pocket of the private insurers or Big Pharma to introduce and vote for a “Ted Kennedy Medicare for All” amendment to whatever bill Reid takes to the floor. And if this fails, a “Ted Kennedy Real Public Option for All” amendment. Let every Senate Democratic who doesn’t have the guts to vote for either of them be known and counted.
House members, particularly Rep. Nydia Velazquez and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, were able to successfully block an immigration-related motion to recommit by House Republicans—a motion with the intention of forcing a tough vote on immigration that, if passed, may have resulted in the bill’s defeat.Health care reform now moves to the Senate, where battles over the 5-year bar, verification systems, and unauthorized immigrants’ ability to purchase health insurance are likely to continue.