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Gil Duran, a spokesman for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, email's over the following statement in response to inquiries about her support for broad health reform.

I support:

1) Reducing costs and expanding coverage

2) Prohibiting the denial of insurance because of pre-existing conditions

3) Moving toward either a non-profit model of medical insurance or to one where premium costs can be controlled, either through competition in a public or cooperative model or through a regulated authority.

4) Assuring the financial survival of Medicare, because it is slated to run out of money in 2017.

5) Preventing the transfer of Medicaid costs to states, which could result in billions of dollars of additional loss to the State of California.

6) Establishing means testing for programs like Medicare Part D, which pays for prescription drugs

Clearly, the individual mandate - and how it is funded - is the critical, and as yet unanswered, question.


Though Democrats don't bandy about the term too often, the mandate is a provision that will require uninsured people to buy health insurance--private or public--on the individual market. Because many can't afford their own plans, though, it will require a great deal of subsidy and could, in the short term, impose a significant cost. Without the mandate, health care won't be universal. But supporters of the public plan note that without a government run option to root out waste and inefficiency, the choices available to consumers will suffer, and private insurance companies will reap windfall profits on the consumer dime.

As I noted earlier, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) appeared on CNN over the weekend and tried to pour some cold water on the idea that a systemic health care overhaul is in the country's future. In response, MoveOn is pouring some cold water on Feinstein.

The group is calling on its California members to pressure the senior Democrat to get on board with the President's agenda, and threatening to run an ad singling her out.

A slightly abbreviated version of the letter appears below the fold.

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Two Washington D.C. Metro trains are pictured here after they collided just outside the Fort Totten Metro station on the afternoon of Monday, June 22. Federal authorities are currently investigating the cause of the crash, which killed 9.

Newscom / UPI / Alexis C. Glenn






Newscom / UPI / Alexis C. Glenn






Newscom / SIPA / Kris Connor




David Corn, Washington editor of Mother Jones, posted multiple photos of the crash on his Twitter page. MJ's James Ridgeway rounds up the questions about causes here.

David Corn



Passengers line up to take the bus after Metro services were rerouted.


Newscom / SIPA / Kris Connor



A report from the National Transportation Safety board said the train involved in the crash was "recommended for phaseout," according to the AP.


Newscom / MCT / Ken Cedeno

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has done a lot recently to help Norm Coleman's legal fight against Al Franken's super-narrow victory in the 2008 Minnesota Senate race, the Associated Press reports -- chipping in $938,000 in the last month alone.

The latest federal filings show that roughly $600,000 was spent directly by the NRSC on Coleman's legal bills, with $300,000 transferred to the state Republican Party for the same effort.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee did not itemize spending that might have gone to the Minnesota race, but it did raise $282,000 that was specifically earmarked for it.

AWOL South Carolina governor Mark Sanford may have briefly checked in with his office this morning to assure them he's fine and he'll be back at work tomorrow. But he hasn't told his wife, according to her.

A CNN reporter tracked down Jenny Stanford at her Sullivan Island vacation home. Sounding less like the wife of a 2012 presidential contender and more like America's favorite reality TV star announcing her separation from her husband, she said: "I am being a mom today. I have not heard from my husband. I am taking care of my children."

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The Democratic National Committee is now getting in on the jokes about Gov. Mark Sanford's (R-SC) mysterious disappearance, with this new Web video, "Where's Sanford?":



Interestingly, among all the news footage that was collected to make this video, the official explanation that Sanford has gone hiking on the Appalachian Trail isn't even mentioned at all verbally -- it only makes a brief appearance in some of the on-screen news text.

Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) apologized to his Republican colleagues at a caucus lunch today, the Politico reports, in the wake of his admission of an extramarital affair that took place in late 2007 and early 2008.

Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN) said Ensign "apologized to everyone who had been hurt, indicated that he had certain deficiencies in his own character and outlook and was going to make substantial improvements."

Sen. John Thune (R-SD), who is likely to take over Ensign's former leadership position as chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee -- a post that Ensign has resigned -- said that "He basically told us that he was sorry, and he's going to continue to do his job as a senator from Nevada."

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