KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Republicans Bitter About Deals, Resigned About Likely Overhaul Passage

After a series of last minute deals paved the way for Senate Democrats to move forward with health overhaul legislation, Republicans lashed out, but also acknowledged that their options for fighting the legislation at this late date are limited.

Bloomberg/BusinessWeek: "The debate over legislation overhauling the U.S. health-care system turned into a argument over whether Democrats made 'sweetheart deals' to win the votes of lawmakers such as Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson. … On and off the Senate floor, Republicans attacked an agreement Nelson made to exempt his state from paying its share of a plan to expand the Medicaid insurance program for low- income Americans. They accused Democrats of corrupting the Senate by making deals that benefit individual states" (Rowley and Gaouette, 12/23).

NPR: Taking an optimistic view of the now-likely Republican defeat, Sen Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., "said the lesson from the months-long, bitterly divisive debate on a health care overhaul is that 'we're not going to do another bill with one or two Republicans and a bunch of Democrats.' Graham said that could open the way for a bipartisan effort to promote carbon-neutral energy sources as part of a broader effort to promote energy independence" (12/22).

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