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Talk Of Public Option Compromise After Initial Senate Vote

CQ sizes up the state of play on public option: “Four senators — independent Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut and Democrats Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana — who voted to begin debate on the bill have said they will likely later oppose any move to end a filibuster and pass the measure unless the public option proposed by Reid is significantly altered or removed. On the other side of the issue, Bernard Sanders, an independent from Vermont, released a statement Sunday saying that there are a ‘number of senators, including myself, who would not support final passage without a strong public option.’ A compromise could emerge from talks on a proposal by Thomas R. Carper, D-Del. He has suggested a public option available only in states where private insurers fail to offer insurance plans that meet yet-to-be-defined cost standards, or in states that choose to offer a public plan in competition with private insurers.”

Wonk Room’s Igor Volsky notes that Sen. Lincolin’s website still says she support public option: “Individuals should be able to choose from a range of quality health insurance plans. Options should include private plans as well as a quality, affordable public plan or non-profit plan that can accomplish the same goals as those of a public plan.”

DailyKos’ nyceve reports on health care crisis at free clinic in Lincoln’s state of Arkansas: “I learned a lot from the doctors, nurses, volunteers and American heroes who came to render compassion and mercy for their fellow citizens. I learned about little things like for many patients who come to these events, even a $4.00 prescription at WalMart is unaffordable. Many of these people are only able to get part time jobs which don’t give them benefits, or they have been laid off because of the economy. I met a woman who works full time and cannot afford the $400 a month for the premium … These are some of the people who Blanche Lincoln neglects, they will deliver her a message on Election Day, if she continues to work against the people of Arkansas.”

Democrats stlll reaching out to Maine Republicans. NYT: “The two moderate Republican senators from Maine, Susan Collins and Olympia J. Snowe, say Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, reached out to them after he unveiled the Senate measure, encouraging them to bring forward their ideas and concerns. Ms. Collins also received a personal visit from a high-level Obama emissary, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, a former senator who worked closely with her on various issues as part of a bipartisan coalition.”

Bloomberg reports that Snowe hasn’t decided whether to offer trigger amendment on Senate floor.

Sen. Mark Begich says version of public option is sure to change. Anchorage Daily News quotes: “I’m not going to let the bill live or die on that single item … The way Reid has his laid out is not the way it’s going to be the way it ends up”

W. Post reports Sen. Durbin is “suggesting that lawmakers may be forced to cut into their holiday recess to work on the bill”

Ezra Klein rips logic of W. Post colleague David Broder: “Huh? The net increase of $160 billion in the first 10 years is part of CBO’s analysis, not a caveat to it. It doesn’t mean the bill doesn’t cut the deficit, it just means that overall spending is larger before you add revenues into the equation. Moreover, the CBO continues: ‘during the decade following the 10-year budget window, the increases and decreases in the federal budgetary commitment to health care stemming from this legislation would roughly balance out.’ In other words, the revenue and the savings grow more quickly than the costs. Extend that line out further and, yes, federal spending on health care falls as a result of this bill. In other words, the bill satisfies Broder’s conditions. But he doesn’t come out and say that.”

USA Today catches up with citizens once opposed to Clinton’s 1994 health care bill, supporting Obama after seeing crisis worsen: “…the years since Clinton’s failed effort have seen the cost of medical services nearly double and softened some of the skepticism voiced by Americans in 1993 and 1994. The percentage who say Congress should pass comprehensive legislation, rather than dealing with health care incrementally over several years, has increased by 10 points…”

India PM At White House Today As Nations Prep For Climate Summit

The Vine’s Jesse Zwick previews today’s White House visit by India’s prime minister, and impact on climate summit in Copenhagen: “…on none are the two hesitant allies more at odds than the conditions for a global climate treaty … Earlier this month in Barcelona … India again caused sparks by threatening to walk out on the Copenhagen talks along with the rest of the developing nations unless rich countries (cough, cough, the U.S.) agreed to deeper cuts and more money. There are now only two weeks before COP15 and this will be the last chance for Obama and Singh’s diplomats to get on the same page, or at least learn to be a little more polite.”

AP reports 65 heads of state are now planning to attend: “Sixty-five world leaders have said they will attend the Copenhagen climate summit in December, and several more have responded positively to invitations, Danish officials said Sunday. But the world’s top three carbon polluters – the United States, China and India – have not indicated whether their leaders will attend the meeting, and that could have a big impact on its chances of reaching a deal.”

Change.org’s Mike Smith flags a report that President Obama is laying groundwork to achieve a binding global treaty in 2010: “…Obama’s advisers say he is pushing a private solution that involves making an international, binding agreement at a scheduled meeting in Mexico City next year. He has already had talks with Danish PM Løkke Rasmussen — the host and chairman of the climate talk — about the possibility.”

Overdraft Free Reform Loses One Backer

Fed step on overdraft fees prompts one House member to drop support for related bill. The Hill: “Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (D-Texas) took his name off the co-sponsors list for the bank overdraft bill backed by Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Barney Frank (D-Mass.) … he dropped his support for the bill because of the Fed’s recent action on overdraft fees. The Fed issued a rule on Nov. 12 that would require banks to ask consumers permission before subscribing them into overdraft fee programs … Maloney and Frank’s bill goes farther than the Fed. It would restrict the number of overdraft fees that banks may charge to one per month or six per year and also limits the total fees that banks may charge. Under the bill, banks would have to charge fees proportional to the overdraft.”

NYT reports executives of failed financial institutions left with millions, offers lessons for reform: “…three professors at Harvard are … saying it is an urban myth that executives at Bear and Lehman were wiped out along with their companies … At Lehman, the top five executives received cash bonuses and proceeds from stock sales totaling $1 billion between 2000 and 2008, and at Bear, the top five received more than $1.4 billion … ‘There’s no question they would have done massively better had their firms not collapsed,’ said Lucian Bebchuk, one of the study’s authors. ‘But the wealth of those top executives was hardly wiped out. The idea that they were devastated financially has kind of colored the picture people have about what payoffs they were facing.’ Many of the solutions that policy makers and regulators are considering for Wall Street pay are tactics that were already in place at Lehman and Bear … Critics of compensation reform have pointed to these two firms as examples of why change in pay practices may not make a difference and have said the focus should be on things like risk management and regulatory oversight.”

Krugman rips front-age NYT article promoting “Deficit Hysteria” “Urg. Big piece on the front page saying that, on the one hand, some people say that we’re going to have a debt crisis any day now, while on the other hand … well, actually we never hear from the other side. As Dean says, the numbers don’t fit the scare story — a decade from now interest payments will reach a level not seen since … 1992. And the market seems unworried, since long-term rates remain low.”

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