The amendment that may kill the health care bill
Politico reports: "Senate Democratic leaders are blaming Republicans for the hold up, but insiders argue that those leaders are trying to figure out how to give Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan (N.D.) a vote on his amendment without busting the carefully crafted and fiercely protected deal between drug companies and the White House. Some Democrats worry that a broken [Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America] agreement could send health reform completely off the rails." "[The pharmaceutical] industry support is considered a key to passage," the Los Angeles Times claims. The AP notes: "Some participants on both sides concede it will be difficult for Dorgan to win the 60 votes he needs."
UPDATE: More bad news for the government takeover of health care.
Risking the wrath of Democrats, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., threatened Sunday to join Republicans in opposing health care legislation if it permits uninsured individuals as young to 55 to purchase Medicare coverage.
Lieberman, whose vote is critical to the bill's prospects, expressed his opposition twice during the day: first in an interview with CBS, and more strongly later, according to Democratic officials, in a private meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Reid, who is hoping to pass the legislation by Christmas, needs 60 votes to overcome Republican objections, and has been counting on Lieberman to provide one. . . .