Senate Targets Insurance Exec Pay

Meanwhile GOP will keep battling Medicare cuts
By Caroline Miller,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 5, 2009 9:40 AM CST
Senate Targets Insurance Exec Pay
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, center, accompanied by Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., left, and Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., speaks during a health care news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Dec. 4, 2009, in Washington.    (Haraz N. Ghanbari)

Democratic senators are taking aim at insurance industry executive pay today as they jockey for advantage in a rare weekend session to debate health care overhaul. Republicans will be targeting the bill's cuts to Medicare, seeking to undermine support among seniors. With talks on the key divisive issues of abortion and the public option happening behind the scenes, Democratic leaders are giving the spotlight today to Blanche Lincoln, the AP reports.

Lincoln, a key moderate with a difficult re-election next year, will propose an amendment that would limit insurance executives' tax deductible salaries to the same amount the US president makes, currently $400,000. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal rounds up an array of efforts by other Senate moderates to trim costs of the plan, including Sen. Olympia Snowe, who's collaborating with Dems on a plan to sharpen competition among insurers in a new marketplace. Joe Lieberman, Susan Collins, and Arlen Specter yesterday rolled out proposals to streamline billing for care and penalize hospitals that spread "avoidable" infections. (Read more health care reform stories.)

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