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Republicans put on the defensive by Obama

Business Times - 21 Apr 2010


Republicans put on the defensive by Obama

Goldman fraud case seen as providing Democrats with leverage to press GOP to help approve financial reform bill

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

ONE of the major turning points in the Congressional debate over the legislation to reform healthcare was the decision on Feb 12 this year by a California-based healthcare insurance company, Anthem Blue Cross, to raise premiums by 39 per cent.

US President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies on Capitol Hill seized on the announcement as proof that healthcare insurance reform was needed and launched a series of devastating attacks on the insurance industry.

The campaign helped produce political momentum in support for the legislation that eventually was approved by Congress, despite strong Republican opposition.

Now Mr Obama and the Democrats are finding themselves once again entangled in another legislative gridlock with Republicans - this time over financial regula…