LIBERALS FOR EXCLUSION REFORM: Few Washington think tanks speak with the authority of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. And while they've earned their non-partisan reputation by consistently adhering to high intellectual standards, they have--and deserve--special credibility on the left because of their longtime focus on how policy affects the poor and middle-class. So perhaps their latest message will get through to liberals and liberally inclined interest groups that oppose tinkering with the tax exclusion for health benefits. The title of their new report says it all: "Limiting the Tax Exclusion for Employer-Sponsored Insurance Can Help Pay for Health Reform; Universal Coverage May Be Out of Reach Otherwise." The emphasis is mine. The arugment is theirs. If you're not already convinced, read what they have to say here.
LIBERALS FOR HEALTH REFORM: Health care reform will not pass without an organized and focused grassroots push from the left. That was a big lesson of the 1993-94 reform effort--and, increaisngly, it looks like a lesson that liberals have learned. At this year's America's Future NOW conference, health care reform has been a major focus. Here's a dispatch, detailing the efforts already underway.
LIBERALS FOR THE PUBLIC PLAN OPTION: Via the New York Times, it sounds like Obama talked up the public plan with even more enthusiasm than before. The Times also notes Obama's support for the Rockefeller plan to shift more power over Medicare reimbursements away from Congress and over to the quasi-independent board that advises it. (See item below for more on that.)