Local Leaders React To Senate Health Overhaul Bill

Local leaders are reacting to the health care overhaul as the Senate passage of the bill creeps closer.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports, in the meantime, that Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland is being critical of Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., for "seeking Medicaid money for his vote."

"During a year-end interview with the Enquirer Monday, Strickland called it unseemly, selfish and narrow for U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson to broker a deal in which Nebraska's share of Medicaid expenses are waived for 10 years in exchange for his pivotal 60th vote to pass a federal health care plan" (Craig, 12/21).

The New York Daily News reports that New York Gov. David Paterson and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said they have serious concerns about the Senate health care reform bill. "Gov. Paterson, Mayor Bloomberg and other officials warned the Senate plan would: Force the city to close 100 health clinics; (b)low a $1 billion hole in the state's budget; (and) (t)hreaten struggling hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities. … One of the biggest whacks the state faces is a $5.5 billion cut over 10 years in federal help taking care of sick people who can't pay" (Einhorn, Lovett and McAuliff, 12/22).

The Great Falls (Mont.) Tribune reports that opinion over the Senate bill has drawn praise and criticism from Montana leaders. "The measure on Monday received the backing of the Montana Hospital Association. … Eric Feaver is president of MEA-MFT, the state's largest labor union. Feaver has been critical of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus' handling of health care reform legislation. Feaver said he is hopeful that lawmakers will improve key aspects of the measure in conference committee" (Adams, 12/22).

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