Tuesday, 20 October 2009

White House Tidbits re: Health Care issues

CHICAGO TRIBUNE has a guide to the White House health-reform players: Rahm Emanuel, Jim Messina, Nancy-Ann DeParle, Phil Schiliro, Peter Orszag and Dan Pfeiffer. (The Trib needs to get a Pfeiffer file photo!)

TOP TALKER -- DEMS TRY TO BOX OUTCHAMBER -- POLITICO's Lisa Lerer: 'The White House and congressional Democrats are working to marginalize the Chamber of Commerce ... by going around the group and dealing directly with the CEOs of major U.S. corporations. Since June, senior White House officials have met directly with executives from more than 55 companies, including Chamber members Pfizer, Eastman Kodak and IBM. 'We prefer the approach - particularly in this climate - where the actual people who are on the front lines, running businesses, trying to create jobs, come and advise us on policy,' senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett told POLITICO ...

'Chamber officials say the White House is scapegoating the Chamber and other trade associations as a way of dividing the business community, a move that could help the administration made headway on health care reform, climate change legislation and regulatory reform. 'It's happening with the deliberate hope and attention to weaken the influence of this institute and the business community in town,' said Bruce Josten, executive vice president for government affairs at the Chamber. 'When they launch a frontal assault against free enterprise and the Chamber of Commerce, I can guarantee it is not lost on any trade association executives or staff in this town.' ... Executives from a huge swath of companies have attended breakfasts, lunches, dinners and coffees with Jarrett, Obama, chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and senior economic adviser Larry Summers in recent months. On June 25, for example, Obama and Jarrett ate lunch with the CEOs of Honeywell, PepsiCo, Avon, IBM, Pfizer and Aon. Six days later, they sat down with executives from Verizon, Nucor, Starbucks and Wal-Mart. And last week, they met with CEOs from Amazon.com, FPL Group, Eastman Kodak and Kraft.'

'A ROADMAP TO HEALTH-CARE OVERHAUL BY CHRISTMAS' -- Commentary by Bloomberg's Albert R. Hunt: 'Republican Senator Olympia Snowe remains the single most important member of Congress on this issue. Democrats might be able to pass a bill without her; it will be hard. Rahm Emanuel will be a central figure in crafting any Senate-approved measure and the final bill. The White House chief of staff may have to delegate much of the Afghanistan account and any plans for a stealth stimulus, spending most of his time on health-care deliberations. ... For all the focus on the public option, ultimately the issue of affordability and how to pay for the overhaul will be more important. ... Veteran observers have no doubt there will be several doomsday moments and dismiss the notion that everything will be approved and reconciled by Thanksgiving, the target deadline. The odds are a measure will pass -- assuming Snowe stays on board -- with Christmas lights and music in the background when Obama signs it.'
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