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President Barack Obama met with Senate Democrats in Congress over the weekend in hopes of securing every one of their votes to pass “historic” health-care-reform legislation as promised. He didn’t take questions or set a timetable. He didn’t propose how the party should deal with divisive issues, such as covering abortion and the so-called public option (via The Christian Science Monitor).
And though a lot remains to be worked out, it seems health-care reform might survive, as fundamental divisions among lawmakers soften.
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Tomorrow, a group of 11 first-term Dems, including Colorado’s two U.S. senators, Mark Udall and Michael Bennet, will introduce a “freshman package” of more than a dozen amendments that aim to lower the costs of providing health care to Americans, according to The Denver Post.
One amendment, contributed by Bennet (right), aims to take on “coding” of patient data to promote a better flow of electronic information among insurers, hospitals, doctors, and others, tackling an issue that is a “real pain point for doctors,” Bennet says. A proposal by Udall (left) would expand the role of the Medicare Advisory Board.
The package comes as Senators Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut independent, and Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, look for solutions that focus less on covering the uninsured and more on increasing efficiency of the expensive health-care system to make it more affordable.
Lieberman, as The Wall Street Journal points out, can’t be disregarded by Democrats: He is crucial to the party if it wants to obtain the 60 votes necessary to thwart Republican filibusters.