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NV Reform Supporters Applaud Obama as 'Myth-Buster-in-Chief'

September 11, 2009

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - The next stop for the nation's health care debate is the Senate Finance Committee, and supporters of reform say President Obama's decision to act as 'myth-buster-in-chief' before a joint session of Congress Wednesday night helped their cause.

Launce Rake, communications director of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN), says it was critical for the public to hear the president address rumors about death panels and undocumented immigrants, neither of which Rake says is included in the reform plan. Just as important, he says, was Obama's decision to couple his support for the public option with an open-door policy.

"He reaffirmed his support for the public option, or any other way that covers these forty-to-fifty million Americans. That's a critical component, because in the State of Nevada, one-third of our folks here are going without health insurance."

Nevada Republicans credit Obama with giving a strong speech, but they argue he was short on the details, particularly how much the plan will cost. Rake disagrees, adding the president made it clear to the American public that health reform will not add one dime to the federal deficit.

"I think the president went over the costs pretty well. He has made an absolute commitment that it's not going to increase the deficit, and I think a lot of Blue Dog Democrats, conservative fiscal policy Democrats, are looking for that commitment."

It's anyone's guess as to what kind of bill will emerge from the Senate Finance Committee next week, says Rake, because that committee is an even split between Democrats and Republicans. Rake says the real 'make it or break it' negotiations will come when the bills head to conference committee later this month.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NV