Pundits and bloggers are closely watching how the health overhaul debate could affect local races across the nation.
The brand new political Web site founded by Tucker Carlson, The Daily Caller, is covering health care politics, reporting today that “President Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, said Monday [on MSNBC's Daily Rundown] that the White House has inadequately communicated with Americans about health-care reform.”
DC’s Jon Ward writes: “Pressed on why poll numbers show such low support for the administration’s reforms, Emanuel said that “part of it is the message not getting through, part of it is people not watching the legislative process very good.”
The Washington Independent’s David Weigel writes that Rep. Larry Kissell, D-N.C., is faring well so far in a reelection campaign in his swing district, in part because of his ”no” vote: “Kissell’s advantage, according to Public Policy Polling, is his vote against the health care bill.”
And Huffington Post’s Glen Johnson and Liz Sidoti report: “The race to succeed the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy has turned into a proxy battle over the fate of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.”
Elsewhere, others continue to look at the shape of a final bill.
The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein says his sources are tracking with E.J. Dionne’s column Monday, where Dionne reported that the final health bill are likely to dump the public option entirely, but opt for a national health insurance exchange. Klein adds, “The precise mix of insurance regulations might shift as well, as the House has a stronger set than the Senate does. But broadly speaking, people aren’t expecting much in the way of surprises.”
Heritage’s Rob Bluey reports on comments from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka opposing the ‘Cadillac tax’ and notes there are other issues that could strain relationships with labor leaders:
The tax issue is just one factor that could sour Big Labor’s relationship with the White House. Trumka clearly favors the more liberal House bill, which includes a public plan and employer mandate. But for House and Senate leaders to strike a deal, lawmakers would almost certainly need to make concessions that agitate leaders like Trumka. Other major issues up for negotiation include penalties of an individual mandate, expansion of the Medicaid entitlement and taxpayer funding for abortion.
Merrill Goozner doesn’t like the ‘Cadillac tax’ either. He looks at the number of Americans likely to be affected by the tax and concludes, “If the Democrats adopt this plan, a political disaster of epic proportions awaits them.”
And on a different note, Insure Blog’s Hank Stern wonders if the Amish will receive a religious exemption to the individual mandate, noting that they purchase vehicle insurance.