Health care, health care, health care

by Lesley Politi on June 25, 2009

What else do I have to talk about today? After last night, everyone was writing about Obama on Primtime.


Good morning. For President Obama, it’s going to be another day of pounding the bully pulpit on his signature domestic issue.

The president gets reports this afternoon from five governors who held regional forums this year on the nation’s health insurance system. The governors attending today’s White House meeting are: Jennifer Granholm, D-Mich.; Jim Douglas, R-Vt.; Jim Doyle, D-Wis.; Mike Rounds, R-S.D.; and Christine Gregoire, D-Wash. Tonight, the president hosts a town hall meeting on the same subject, broadcast at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.

We’ve reported on the spat between ABC and the Republican National Commitee over tonight’s town hall meeting. Apparently unsatisfied with the network’s assurances that the audience has been selected for its diversity of opinion, the RNC has unveiled a new ad reiterating its charges that a national network is “turning its airwaves over to Obama’s pitch” and accusing the president of cutting Republicans out of the discussion. You can watch the ad here.

Health care was one of the subjects on which the president dwelt most heavily in yesterday’s news conference. USA TODAY’s Richard Wolf and David Jackson today take a look at the sparring between the White House and the health insurance industry over the president’s proposal to include a government-backed insurance plan among the options available to consumers. Politicoreports that the president sent a high-powered team of administration officials to Capitol Hill yesterday to lobby Democrats on health care — this just two days after Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., reported “a lot of concern in the Democratic caucus” about the fate of the president’s plan.

In other news, the White House has announced that the president will throw out the first pitch at this year’s baseball All-Star game in St. Louis next month. The president, in case you haven’t been paying attention to his weekend wear, is a huge Chicago White Sox fan.

Vice President Biden picked up a Boston Red Sox jersey with VPOTUS imprinted on the back at Fenway Park last night, where he was the featured attraction at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser. Tickets ranged from $100 to $1,000. Guests who coughed up $5,000 got invited to a special dinner afterward. The veep told a crowd of more than 400 that his wife, Jill, is “the most rabid Phillies fan” and that he will be able to wear the jersey only “when she is not around.”

Continuing on the sports theme, USA TODAY’s Robert Klemko has a report about yesterday’s White House conference on Title IX, and the continuing controversy over efforts to provide female athletes with equal access to sports.

On the fashion front, there are two new books out about first lady Michelle Obama’s style, and USA TODAY’s Maria Puente takes a look at them.

While Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor continues her rounds on Capitol Hill in an effort to win confirmation as the nation’s third woman on the high court, former Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor is talking about what it was like to be the first as she flacks a new book about her dog, which USA TODAY’s Bob Minzesheimer reviewed yesterday. USA TODAY’s Joan Biskupic, who wrote a well-reviewed biography of O’Connor, is tracking the former justice. We’ll post a report from her later.


Giving an option to go on a private plan as well as a government plan does not make any sense. Clearly, going on a private plan would be better benefits.


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