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Senator Harry Reid said Monday that he would include a government-run insurance plan in the Senate’s legislation, but that states could opt out.

Several Democratic senators voiced optimism that Congress would pass a health care bill containing at least the germ of a government-run insurance program.

A Salvation Army detoxification and alcohol abuse treatment center has begun accepting chronic inebriates who have been taken there essentially by force.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s action came amid indications that she had not locked down the votes for the proposal.

The Senate blocked action on a bill to increase Medicare payments to doctors, legislation that had become a proxy for the larger partisan fight over health care policy.

Senate Democrats backed down from their effort to increase Medicare payments to doctors without offsetting any of the cost over the next 10 years.

The increase means that monthly premiums would top $100 for the first time — a stark indication of the rise in costs that is driving the health care reform debate.

If the FHA were a private company, it would clearly be shut down by now.  Or, more likely, be preparing for a government bailout. From the AP: Audit questions FHA's ability to screen lenders By ALAN ZIBEL (AP) – 59 minutes ago WASHINGTON — The government's mortgage insurance agency is doing a poor job of screening lenders that enter the program, an internal audit has found. The audit was completed last month by the Department of Housing and Urban Development's inspector general