10 Who Can Make or Break Health Reform

Who to watch as debate rages on Capitol Hill
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 17, 2009 9:51 AM CDT
America's Health Insurance Plans President and CEO Karen Ignagni.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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(Newser) – As health care talk heats up in Washington, Mark Halperin of Time lists the key players to watch:

  • Sen. Max Baucus is trying to wring out as much GOP support as possible on his finance panel.
  • White House health czar Nancy-Ann DeParle has been winning concessions from the health care industry to cut costs.
  • Congressional Budget Office chief Douglas Elmendorf plays “referee” to spending in any bill. He's already hit Democrats' plans as too expensive.
  • White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel at some point will tell President Obama that "now's the time" to make the big final push.

  • Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) could lead his party to make a deal.
  • Top lobbyist Karen Ignagni is fighting against a public option.
  • White House budget guru Peter Orszag will have to sign off on any deal to make sure it doesn't bust the bank.
  • Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid must somehow avoid a "legislative train wreck."
  • Dems are wooing Sen. Olympia Snowe to make the bill bipartisan—giving her a lot of power.
  • House Energy and Commerce Committee chair Henry Waxman is the House’s health care “point man.”