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Health reform update

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

In a March 3 speech at the White House, President Obama urged congressional leaders to accept his health care reform proposal including his endorsement of a $20 billion excise tax on the device industry - and vote on it over the next several weeks using the budget reconciliation process. But there are enough wavering Democrats in the House to make success uncertain. Approval would begin with a House vote blessing the Dec. 24-passed Senate health care reform bill, legislation that does not include strong enough abortion restrictions for some conservative House Democrats and does not contain aggressive enough coverage provisions for some liberals. Then a "reconciliation bill" would incorporate some of the president's proposals from a Feb. 25 health care summit (1"The Gray Sheet" March 1, 2010). In a bid to win more bipartisan support for health reform, Obama penned a letter to congressional leaders March 2, asking them to tack on to the legislation some proposals from Republicans, though opposition from the latter camp remains strong
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