First Edition: February 5, 2010

Today's headlines reflect Democrats' continuing efforts to regroup and advance a legislative strategy that includes health reforms. 

Millions More Children Added To Medicaid, CHIP Rolls In 2009
Kaiser Health News staff writer Phil Galewitz reports on a federal study released yesterday. Its findings offered the following message regarding previously uninsured children: "Just because Congress hasn't passed a health overhaul bill doesn't mean there hasn't been any expansion of health coverage" (Kaiser Health News).

Obama's 'Next Step': Go Back To Republicans
Months after Congress abandoned any hopes of a broad bipartisan deal on health care reform, President Barack Obama said Thursday the "next step" on health care reform involves going back to the negotiating table with Republicans (Politico).

G.O.P. Senator Is Sworn In, And Democrats Regroup
President Obama and Congressional Democratic leaders sought to reset their agenda as they lost their 60th vote in the Senate on Thursday, trying to push ahead with measures to spur more job creation even as they grasped for ideas to keep alive their health care legislation (The New York Times).

Sen. Landrieu Defends 'Louisiana Purchase,' Says Jindal Asked For It
Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) defended her role in the $300 million "Louisiana Purchase" Thursday, saying she attached it to the healthcare bill at Gov. Bobby Jindal’s (R-La.) request and that it was not a condition of her support for the bill (The Hill).

Sen. Landrieu Defends Medicaid Deal For La.
Called a prostitute by conservative talk show hosts, a Louisiana Democrat on Thursday defended a deal she cut for her Hurricane Katrina-ravaged state in the Senate health care bill (The Associated Press/Washington Post).

Al Franken Lays Into David Axelrod Over Health Care Bill
Sen. Al Franken ripped into White House senior adviser David Axelrod this week during a tense, closed-door session with Senate Democrats. Five sources who were in the room tell POLITICO that Franken criticized Axelrod for the administration’s failure to provide clarity or direction on health care and the other big bills it wants Congress to enact (Politico).

Stalled Health Care Bill Leaves Drug Makers In Regulatory Limbo
With the possible demise of health care legislation, getting back to business as usual may not be the best thing for the nation’s drug makers (The New York Times).

Congressmen Seek Accounting Of AIDS Fraud Complaints
Two Republican congressmen who help oversee billions of dollars for people with AIDS are asking the federal government for an accounting of fraud and mismanagement complaints leveled against AIDS programs nationwide (The Washington Post).

Illinois Court Overturns Malpractice Statute
In a case that could resonate in Washington, the Illinois Supreme Court on Thursday overturned the state’s five-year-old medical malpractice law because it limited compensation to injured patients for pain, suffering and other non-economic harms (The New York Times).

Anthem Blue Cross Dramatically Raising Rates For Californians With Individual Health Policies
California's largest for-profit health insurer is moving to dramatically raise rates for customers with individual policies, setting off a furor among policyholders and prompting state insurance regulators to investigate (Los Angeles Times).

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