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The Note: Windmills and Buzzers

by RICK KLEIN
June 17, 2009
ABC News

... The mark-up begins Wednesday in Sen. Ted Kennedy’s committee on Kennedy’s bill -- without Kennedy there:

“The clearest sign of Kennedy's absence from the Committee is what's still missing from the draft legislation,” Time’s Karen Tumulty writes. “Committee chairmen on Capitol Hill generally prefer to go into "markup" with a rough version of the bill that is as close as possible to what they expect to see in the finished product. However, the HELP committee will begin its work with one that is missing many of its central components. Among the contentious items still to be worked out are the shape of a government-run public health plan to compete with private insurance, and an expected requirement that nearly every employer provide health coverage for its workers.”

Wednesday’s lobbying push starts at the top: Former Senate Majority Leaders Tom Daschle, Bob Dole and Howard Baker announce recommendations at a noon ET press conference in Washington, as organized by the Bipartisan Policy Center.

And it moves down to the state level, with the Progressive States Network fanning out on the Hill and to the White House to make the case....