The House may be closer to settling the immigration issues in the health-care bill this week, but the issue is sure to rear its head again further down the road in the legislative process. In the manager’s amendment to the bill released Tuesday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi confirmed that the House would not adopt the stricter measures included in the Senate Finance Committee’s bill to bar illegal immigrants from purchasing insurance in the federal health exchanges.
Over at Newsweek, Ben Adler describes how the Republican upsets in New York City's suburbs are “an actual bad sign for the Democrats.” I’d actually look a bit farther east to include the results in Connecticut as another reason for concern.
House leadership is still struggling to find a compromise on abortion provisions that could threaten to derail the health-care bill, which they are trying to bring to a vote as early as this weekend. Yesterday, Indiana Rep. Brad Ellsworth, an anti-abortion Democrat, put out his own amendment to try to break the legislative deadlock. While Ellsworth has many of the same concerns as Bart Stupak, the Michigan representative who has threatened to hold up the bill with at least 39 others for not going far enough to prohibit federal funding of abortions. So what is Ellsworth asking for?
Medicare and Medicaid aren't the only public insurance programs that could undergo a major overhaul under the current health-care reform bill. Over at The Washington Independent, Mike Lillisexplains how the House bill proposes to eliminate CHIP -- the state children's health-insurance program that has enjoyed broad-based support from Democrats -- and move the low-income children covered by the government program into the health-insurance exchanges by 2013.
Are lobbyists really fleeing Obama’s Washington? Yesterday, the Center for Responsive Politics and OMB Watch jointly released a study revealing that some 1,400 lobbyists de-registered between April and June this year -- about 8 percent of the total number of registered lobbyists. Normally, only a few hundred lobbyists leave every quarter, but the exodus happened soon after Obama issued an executive order that imposed new rules on lobbying, restricting lobbyists' ability to serve in the administration and to have direct access to officials handling TARP and the stimulus package.