House Dems Back to Work in Same Quagmire
Public health insurance option still splitting party after hectic summer break
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2009 4:30 AM CDT
Participants in a health reform town hall meeting led by Maryland Rep. Steny H. Hoyer express their disapproval in Walfdorf, Md., early this month.    (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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(Newser) – House Democrats returned to work yesterday in the same position they were in before they spent their summer break getting an earful from the public, the Washington Post reports. House lawmakers are still expected to move first on the health care bill. But while broad support remains for some kind of health care overhaul, the split between moderates and liberals is as wide as ever on issues like the public health insurance option.

Caucus members complain, that they spent much of their break refuting claims like the alleged "death panels" rather than discussing what's actually in the bill. House leaders believe the bill's fate will rest with the roughly 80 Democratic lawmakers elected in the swing to the Democrats over the last 3 years, and hope to have the bill on the president's desk by Christmas if enough of them can be won over.