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Health haggling heats up

Wall Street Journal, November 23, 2009

Democratic leaders finally moved their sweeping health bill to the Senate floor, where wheeling and dealing over major unresolved and divisive issues likely will shape the legislation before its next big test. A handful of Democrat centrists say they can't support the government-sponsored health-insurance plan—known as the public option—that is included in the bill. And Democrats are divided over abortion, an issue that nearly derailed the House earlier this month when it narrowly passed a health bill that blocked abortion coverage from federally subsidized insurance plans, including some run by private insurers. Another growing concern even as the bill progresses is the political heat on Democrats over expanded government spending amid rising unemployment and deficit concerns.