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Today in Health Care Reform

9:08 AM, Dec 16, 2009 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
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The Democratic ducks are lining up to support the emerging health care compromise. After eliminating the public option and Medicare buy-in, Lieberman has signaled that he's ready to vote for cloture. Landrieu did the same thing after the Democratic caucus met with the president yesterday. Keep your eye on Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and Ben Nelson of Nebraska, as well.

Meanwhile, from the left, Howard Dean continues his chain-saw attack on the legislation.

New polls show continued public disapproval of the health bill.

In a victory for the pharmaceutical companies, last night the Senate defeated an amendment that would have allowed drug re-importation from Canada. The Senate also struck down another amendment, proposed by Idaho Republican Mike Crapo, that would have sent the legislation back to the Finance Committee in order to eliminate middle-class tax hikes.

Here's an interesting item on the declining fortunes of the popular Medicare Advantage program.

In his column today, David Leondhardt suggests what eventually may come before President Obama: "The path to a health bill that begins to solve both core problems - access and cost - is fairly clear, numerous health economists say. It involves combining the Senate provisions on cost and quality control (and, ideally, strengthening them) with the House provisions on insurance access."

Leondhardt also argues that health care reform will help small business formation and entrepreneurial risk-taking. I'm skeptical. Wouldn't mandates, regulations, taxes, and fees that raise the cost of doing business make risk-taking harder than before?

We may soon find out.