President Obama gave Senate Democrats a pep talk on their health care overhaul efforts as the lawmakers prepare to counter blistering attacks from Republicans over the August recess.
Senate Finance Committee negotiators are focusing this week on how to expand Medicaid as part of a health care overhaul without breaking the budgets of states that fund the costly program jointly with the federal government.
Count in the Senate Finance Committee negotiators when it comes to support of an independent body enforcing Medicare policy—but just don't call it "MedPAC on steroids."
What's the liberal strategy going into the August recess for getting a health overhaul across the congressional finish line? Judging from a press briefing Wednesday by a trio of Senate liberals, the answer seems to be: emphasize the continued suffering of many Americans from failing to ensure access to affordable care; put newly emboldened Republicans back on the defensive with the message that their nay-saying perpetuates that suffering; and slam, slam, slam insurers.
Senate Democrats got a third and final presentation on how to sell health care overhaul to their constituents over the August recess, this time from White House senior adviser David Axelrod. Axelrod and Jim Messina, the White House deputy chief of staff, also advised the senators in the closed-door session on how to deal with the protesters and activists who seek to disrupt town hall-style meetings on health care during the recess.
State officials continue to be deeply concerned about the impact of provisions in the health overhaul bills under development in Congress, including an expansion of Medicaid coverage in states struggling to provide—and in some cases, cutting back—services for current beneficiaries.