As Harry Reid pointed out yesterday, an American “dies from lack of health insurance every ten minutes,” which means that the longer this whole health-care-reform process is drawn out, the more people are destined to suffer. But the suffering is already palpable for one man: President Obama, who has delayed his annual Christmas pilgrimage back to his home state of Hawaii in a show of solidarity with his friends in the Senate. “My attitude is that if they’re making these sacrifices to provide health care to all Americans then the least I can do is to be around and provide them any encouragement and last-minute help where necessary,” Obama explained today. He was expected to start his vacation tomorrow, but the Senate isn’t scheduled to pass its bill until Thursday. That’s a whole day of awkward golf gyrations that he’ll never get back.
Sen. Manchin has not yet agreed to 4 weeks of paid leave, Medicare vouchers for dental and Medicaid expansion, multiple sources tell me and @alivitali.