TPM News

President Obama will headline a health insurance reform rally in College Park, MD, on Thursday.

The rally will be held at 11 a.m. at the University of Maryland's Comcast Center. The event is free and open to the public on a first come, first served basis.

According to the White House press release:

In College Park on Thursday, President Obama will bring his plan for health insurance reform directly to Marylanders. He will discuss what's at stake for the American people in this debate - why we need health insurance reform and why we need to act now.

President Obama's health insurance reform plan has two goals--to bring stability and security to Americans who have insurance today, and affordable coverage to those who don't. And his plan will bring reforms that will reduce the unsustainable growth in the cost of health care, which has doubled in the last decade and will again, unless we act.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) has released a statement, saying that he will oppose the Democrats' expected motion to admonish Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) for his "You lie!" outburst during President Obama's speech to Congress last week:

Rep. Wilson has apologized to the President, and the President accepted his apology. Last Thursday, Speaker Pelosi said that she believed it was time to move on and discuss health care. I couldn't agree more, and that's why I plan to vote 'no' on this resolution. Instead of pursuing this type of petty partisanship, we should be working together to lower costs and expand access to affordable, high-quality health coverage on behalf of the American people.


So the situation is now clear: Democrats will continue to pile on Wilson, while Republicans will circle their wagons and defend Wilson -- who is, of course, the new hero of the GOP grassroots. And for his part, Wilson will probably keep on doing his thing, if his Fox News Sunday appearance was any indication.

A new Research 2000 poll commissioned by Daily Kos has some interesting news for both Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), and supporters of the public option.

Though Lincoln's favorable/unfavorable split is an unenviable 43 to 49, her potential opponents are still relatively unknown, and she maintains a considerable lead over all of them.

More interesting still is that respondents--600 likely voters--strongly favor "creating a government-administered health insurance option that anyone can purchase to compete with private insurance plans." The split on that score is 55 to 38. And remember, this is Arkansas, where Rush Limbaugh has a stronger approval rating than Barack Obama. Makes you think Lincoln could afford to be a bit more bullish on the public option than she has been of late.


Thousands of anti-reformers, organized by FreedomWorks and tea party groups across the country, march to the Capitol Sept. 12, 2009.

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Several people were carrying this "Bury ObamaCare with Kennedy" sign.

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The Obama/Hitler comparisons continue ...

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"He had a dream. We got a nightmare."

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If there's a sign that one faction is winning the tug-of-war between House progressives and conservative Senate Democrats over the public option, it may be coming from the Speaker's office.

Last Tuesday, when Nancy Pelosi emerged from the White House after a meeting with President Obama, she said that the fate of the public option would be determined in the legislative process, and she suggested that if Congress goes for a "trigger," it would be affixed to a Medicare-like public option.

On Thursday, she said "This is about a goal. It's not about provisions. As long as our goal of affordability and accessibility and quality, meeting the four...goals that we have in the legislation, then we will go forward with that bill."

But not two weeks ago, Pelosi insisted that a health care bill without a strong public option would not pass the House. That statement was of a piece with similar statements she'd made for weeks, which were based on the progressives' insistence that health care reform's passage depended on the public option.

In other words, since meeting with Obama--who's been notably solicitous of Senate moderates, and notably dismissive of House progressives--her public language has softened notably.

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The Senate Finance Committee should have a draft of their health care reform bill tomorrow, chair Max Baucus (D-MT) said in a news conference today.

Baucus said markup hearings -- where the committee will discuss amendments and details -- will be held next week.

"We're on schedule," he said.

Baucus also told reporters that the Congressional Budget Office is looking at the committee's draft to make a cost estimate, and said it will be budget neutral over 10 years.

He also said negotiators have discussed more federal financing of Medicaid and making sure illegal immigrants would not be covered under a public plan. They also discussed medical malpractice, he said.

A majority of Americans approve of President Obama's handling of the economy, according to a new national CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Survey.

Fifty-four percent of people questioned said they approve of how Obama's dealing with the recession. Forty-five percent said they disapprove.

The 54 percent approval rating is up from 49 percent in late August -- but down from the 59 percent of Americans who approved of Obama's handling of the economy when surveyed in March.

There's a major partisan divide on this issue, "with Democrats overwhelmingly approving and Republicans overwhelmingly disapproving of how the president's dealing with the economy," CNN reports.

The poll was conducted over the weekend, after Obama's health care speech to a joint session of Congress, but before his speech on the economy in New York today.

The momentum is building for the House to officially condemn Rep. Joe Wilson's (R-SC) "You lie!" outburst against President Obama.

As Greg Sargent reported, the resolution of disapproval (which is less than a full "censure") could occur as soon as tomorrow. It will target Wilson's breach of the official rules of decorum, and his failure to properly apologize on the House floor.

A House Democratic leadership aide tells TPM that no final decision has yet been made, and the Democratic leaders will talk about it this evening. If Wilson were to actually apologize, that would of course render the situation moot. However, the source said, if Wilson doesn't apologize then the only remaining issue for leaders to discuss will be the timing of the disapproval, which could indeed happen tomorrow.

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele released a statement moments after President Obama's economic speech in New York today, and called the President's economic policies "a failure" for the "more than 3 million Americans who have lost their jobs this year."

The $787 billion stimulus bill "led to wasteful spending" without creating the jobs it promised, Steele said.

The government's rescue of the auto and financial industries -- which Steele characterized as "the President's experiments on our economy" -- has dug the country deeper into debt, Steele said, "and no amount of speeches will convince the American people otherwise."

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President Obama traveled to lower Manhattan today a year after the collapse of Lehman Brothers to argue that the administration's response to the financial crisis has been successful and to pitch his plan to change the regulatory system.

"Although I will never be satisfied while people are out of work and our financial system is weakened, we can be confident that the storms of the past two years are beginning to break," said Obama, speaking in Federal Hall on Wall St. "The growing stability resulting from these interventions means we are beginning to return to normalcy. But what I want to emphasize is this: normalcy cannot lead to complacency," he added. (Read his prepared remarks here.)

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