The Democrats' handling of the health care battle continues to confound. This week brought us Rahm Emanuel floating the forget-the-public-option balloon. It landed with a thud -- and President Obama had to walk back his chief of staff's statement all the way from Russia (Sarah Palin could see the walk-back from her porch). We also saw Harry Reid telling health care roadblock Max Baucus to stop chasing GOP votes on health care -- and Baucus, whose office has been a breeding ground for health care industry lobbyists, ignoring him. The Congressional Budget Office recently scored the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee's health care plan, which includes a pubic option, and found that it would cover 97 percent of Americans and cost $600 billion over ten years. Add in the expansion of Medicaid needed to cover the poor and near poor, and the tab hits between $1 trillion and $1.3 trillion -- a small percentage of the $33 trillion it's predicted we'll be spending on health care over that time. So why aren't all 60 members of the Democratic caucus clamoring to support it? Elsewhere, 11-year-old Paris Michael Jackson delivered the quote of the week when she stepped to the memorial mic and declared: "Ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine. And I just wanted to say I love him so much."
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