President Obama hugs Virginia Organizing Project volunteer Debby Smith after she asks him about health care during a town hall meeting earlier this month.
The Virginia Organizing Project is one of many community organizing groups that hoped to have more clout after the election of President Obama, a former organizer. And VOP has now found itself swept up in the biggest organizing effort of the year.
July 22, 2009 Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus has the clout to determine winners and losers in the health-care debate. Several former staffers are now industry lobbyists with a unique brand of access to the man at the debate's center. In Washington, access is money.
July 22, 2009 Choosing which words to use is a key part of the health-care debate. For example, is it a "public option" or a "government plan"? Every side uses words calculated to persuade people before they even think about it. But can one side or the other win the debate simply by winning the war of words?
June 29, 2009 While opponents of the overhaul proposals currently under consideration warn of long waits for care or draconian cuts in payments to doctors and hospitals, some experts say slowing the growth of health spending doesn't have to hurt. "You can deliver high-quality care for far fewer resources if you organize your processes right," says one expert.
June 21, 2009 Guest Host Alison Stewart talks with NPR Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving about the upcoming week in Congress, and how it looks like it will be dominated by big numbers — many in red ink. The cost of overhauling the health care system is giving members of Congress sticker shock, and polls show the public is worried about the cost of multiple bailouts.
June 19, 2009 The preliminary price tag of $1 trillion for a health care overhaul bill has Republicans up in arms and one Senate committee back to the drawing board. But one expert says the figure is a drop in the bucket compared to how much the nation currently spends on health care.
June 16, 2009 President Obama is pushing to overhaul the nation's health care system, but doctors, hospitals and others are raising sharp concerns over his call for a government-run insurance plan to compete with private plans. White House budget director Peter Orszag and Rich Umbdenstock of the American Hospital Association offer opposing views.
June 17, 2009 In "The Cost Conundrum," his latest article for The New Yorker, staff writer Dr. Atul Gawande reports from McAllen, Texas, a border-town with the dubious distinction of spending more per person on health care than almost any other market in America.