OurFuture.org's Roger Hickey, quoted in Talking Points Memo:  "If they throw out major portions of the reform the most important thing for Dems to talk about right now is how Republicans and the Court are leaving us to the mercy of the private insurance companies ... And that’s not just the Supreme Court decision, but it’s the Ryan budget. … Republicans are trying to impose austerity because they say that Medicare is bankrupting the country, and Dems should point out that Republicans want to dismantle the one functioning part of our health care system — Medicare — that actually works for people, that actually controls cost. And what they’re proposing is incredibly unpopular with the voters ... We have to break the power of the insurance industry at least with a public option, and we have to control drug company costs, again using Medicare as a leverage. And we should be talking about a real comprehensive health care system that is closer to single payer."
President to stress popular provisions of health care law regardless of what the Supreme Court does. WSJ:  "No matter the ruling, the White House is expected to continue highlighting provisions of the legislation that are more popular than the overall law, such as the requirements that insurance companies cover people with pre-existing conditions or allow parents to keep their children on their plans until they are 26 years old. It’s unclear when Mr. Obama will comment on the decision."
And Romney prepares to call expanding health care coverage a "waste" regardless of what the Supreme Court does. The Atlantic:  "...whatever the court does, he'll probably offer some version of this talking point: Obama wasted a major part of his first term pursuing health-care reform when he should have been fixing the economy instead."
House progressives plan single-payer push if Affordable Care Act struck down. HuffPost:  "Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), co-chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus ... said all 75 members of the caucus have already signed onto a bill by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) to create a single-payer, publicly financed, privately delivered universal health care program."
"If they strike down the mandate, the Supreme Court will be paving the way to a single-payer system..."  says conservative Dem Sen. Ben Nelson.
Romney fails to get retraction from W. Post over Bain outsourcing story:  "In material distributed to reporters on Wednesday, the campaign said that those companies added American jobs while Romney was at Bain and that their expanded overseas operations were aimed at supporting U.S. exports. Representatives of the Romney campaign met with Post editors and asked for a retraction, but Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli said after the meeting that The Post is 'confident of its reporting.' The Post article was based on filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which showed that Bain had invested in several firms that described their businesses as helping other companies shift work to or expand overseas."
Senate plans vote to end loophole promoting outsourcing. Politico:  "'I would ask Mitt Romney, do you support his bill or don’t you?' [AFL-CIO President Richard] Trumka told POLITICO on Wednesday. 'His companies were the pioneers of this outsourcing and now he says he’s against it. This is a chance for him to prove it, so he can say "I’m for this bill" or "I’m against the bill." And that’ll tell the American public a lot.' The outsourcing bill, sponsored by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), would give qualifying companies a 20 percent tax credit for costs associated with bringing jobs that are now overseas back to the United States. It would also end a certain tax deduction for companies that outsourced jobs."
Criticism of Romney's Bain record is hurting him in the polls, notes LAT's Doyle McManus:  "The NBC-Journal poll found that in the 12 swing states, where the Obama campaign has been running television ads, the percentage of voters saying they have an unfavorable view of the Republican grew from 36% a month ago to 41% now."
RNC seeks to further weaken campaign finance law. W. Post:  "The Republican National Committee filed a lawsuit last week challenging campaign contribution limits set by the federal government, continuing the party’s efforts to dismantle the laws restricting money in political campaigns. The suit challenges the cap on the total amount of money that one person may give to political candidates, parties and some types of political action committees during a two-year election cycle."
Both sides give in transportation bill deal. Politico:  "The agreement will extend highway spending authority and the gas tax for roughly two years, sources said. But it comes at a price: Republicans had to drop their insistence that President Barack Obama approve the Keystone XL pipeline, and Democrats had to settle for allowing states to opt out of spending some funds on nonroad projects like bike and pedestrian paths. The GOP also rolled back its insistence on curtailing the EPA’s ability to regulate coal ash."
More from Politico:  "Some issues hadn’t yet been put to bed Wednesday night but were expected to be tied up with a bow in time for conferees to sign off on a final deal this week, hopefully with votes in both the Senate and House on Friday. The bill is expected to be joined with a student loan bill and possibly with a bill related to flood control.
Loss from botched trade may be more than four times bigger than first estimated. NYT:  "... the red ink has been mounting in recent weeks, as the bank has been unwinding its positions, according to interviews with current and former traders and executives at the bank who asked not to be named ... the sharply higher loss totals will feed a debate over how strictly large financial institutions should be regulated and whether some of the behemoth banks are capitalizing on their status as too big to fail to make risky trades."