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Town Halls: Even Tempers Prevail In Wisconsin, But Not Phoenix

In Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis, encountered something Democrats may have become unaccustomed to: "a fairly even-tempered crowd" at an "intimate" town hall meeting, Roll Call reports. Kind voted against the reform proposal in the House Ways and Means Committee, but defended current incarnations of the overhaul package during a meeting with local business owners and state National Federation of Independent Business representatives. Despite the civil tone, "business owners still voiced skepticism over the uncertainty and lack of specifics in the health reform proposals - and how they might affect small businesses." Kind replied, "There's going to be some uncertainty, and that's natural.

Kennedy Biographer Adam Clymer: Kennedy Shaped Obama's Health Agenda

Adam Clymer covered Congress as a Washington correspondent for the New York Times and the Baltimore Sun, beginning in 1963, the year after Edward Kennedy was elected to the Senate. He is the author of a remarkable biography, "Edward M. Kennedy, " which captures the sweep and breadth of Kennedy's remarkable half century of public service in the Senate. KHN 's Eric Pianin talked with Clymer. Listen to the interview. This information was reprinted from with kind permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives and sign up for email delivery at kaiserhealthnews.

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A Timeline Of Kennedy's Health Care Achievements And Disappointments

KHN provides a timelime detailing Sen. Edward Kennedy's involvement in the nation's health care policy. The article quotes the following: "Every American should be able to get the same treatment that U.S. senators are entitled to, ' he wrote in Newsweek last month. 'This is the cause of my life'" (Evans and Schiff, 8/26). This information was reprinted from with kind permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives and sign up for email delivery at © Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

Latest Md. Budget Cut Rips Into Health Care Programs

Maryland health programs will suffer especially deep cuts in the state's effort to patch a $454 million shortfall, the latest in a series of budget problems, the Washington Post reports. The state will scour for cash by closing a 40-bed psychiatric hospital, cut $7.5 million in cancer research funding and lower Medicaid payments by two percent. Additional cuts include road projects, closing a prison, layoffs, furloughs and training programs (Davis, 8/27). The state's health department also absorbed 160 of 202 layoffs that were approved as part of the cut, the Associated Press/Washington Examiner reports, including 90 employees at the psychiatric hospital.

Kucinich Asks Insurers To Testify On Coverage, Costs After Recess

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, has asked leaders from the largest insurers in America to testify in mid-September about the industry's "coverage, costs and claim denials, " Reuters reports. The Ohioan sent letters to Aetna, Cigna, Humana, UnitedHealth Group and WellPoint as well as others. "The letter asks the companies' CEOs to testify at a September 17 hearing about 'the nature, cost/benefit, and impact of administrative measures and protocols used by the health insurance industry to determine coverage.' Kucinich, a Democrat, chairs the domestic policy subcommittee of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee in the House of Representatives.

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Young Obama Supporters Missing From Health Reform Debate

Obama's tech-savvy young activists, who were instrumental in getting him elected, are not as active on health care reform, a gap Obama will have to fix if he is to regain momentum for his top domestic priority, The Associated Press reports. "Younger people are generally healthier and rely on less medical care, particularly young working men who make up the largest group that goes voluntarily without health insurance. They also are less likely to be as vocal at contentious town halls; many are either working or in school during the daytime forums. " In an effort to activate his base, "Obama talked up health care in an online town meeting last week with Organizing for America, the campaign operation reconstituted as the White House political arm.

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