First Edition: November 11, 2010

In today's headlines, health law advocates huddle in an effort to defend the measure against GOP efforts to undo it.

Advocates Prepare To Challenge GOP On Health Law
Kaiser Health News staff writer Mary Agnes Carey reports: "In the aftermath of Republicans' election victories, defenders of the health care law are huddling – once again – in an effort to thwart GOP efforts to eviscerate the sweeping measure" (Kaiser Health News).

AP-GfK Poll: Public Mixed On GOP Tax, Health Plans
People back Republican tax cut plans but not the GOP campaign to repeal President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, according to a poll suggesting that the Republicans' big Election Day win was not a mandate for the party's legislative wish list (The Associated Press).

Panel Seeks Social Security Cuts And Tax Increases
Liberal groups immediately condemned the plan when news of it broke, for its Social Security and Medicare changes and for the scope of the spending cuts. The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, in a statement called it "simply unacceptable" (The New York Times).

Panel Weights Deep Federal Budget Cuts To Trim Deficit
The plan proposes major cuts in domestic and military spending, and would remake the tax code to boost revenue. Among the changes are higher payments for Medicare patients, increased gas taxes and the delay of full Social Security benefits until age 68 (Los Angeles Times).

Commission Leaders Say Cutting Deficit Will Hurt
Voters who last week sent Washington a message to wrestle the spiraling debt under control have gotten a message back from the leaders of a White House budget commission: It'll hurt (The Associated Press).

Debt Panel Floats Public Option For Health Care
It's baaack. Creating a public health insurance option — perhaps the most contentious idea of last year’s health overhaul debate — is among the possible solutions for reducing federal spending outlined in today's debt commission report (The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire).

Debt Panel Chairmen Call For Second Look At The Public Option
The chairmen of President Obama's fiscal commission are calling for a second look at a robust government-run healthcare program, which Congress shelved last year following acrimonious debate (The Hill's Healthwatch Blog).

GOP Grilling Expected At First Hearing For Controversial Medicare Appointee
Donald Berwick, the controversial administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) appointed during the July recess, is scheduled for his first hearing before the Senate Finance Committee next Wednesday, Nov. 17 (The Hill's Healthwatch Blog).

Health Official: 'Obamacare' Was Once 'Romneycare'
Websites where consumers will be able to shop for health insurance are a lynchpin of the nation's new health care law and have a history of conservative support, a top federal official said Wednesday (The Associated Press/Washington Post).

Nurses' Union Flexes Political Muscle
One of California's most powerful political players these days is a Bay Area-based nurses' union, which helped torpedo Republican Meg Whitman's efforts to become governor and boosted the prospects of the eventual winning candidate, Democrat Jerry Brown (The Wall Street Journal).

New, More Graphic Cigarette Warnings Unveiled
After decades of reminding people about the dangers of cigarettes, offering nicotine gum or patches and making smokers huddle outside, the government is turning to gruesome pictures (The Washington Post). 

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