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FROM THIS EPISODE

As the presidential candidates debate the future of healthcare reform, President Bush and the Congress are at odds over a current program that's about to expire. Should subsidized health insurance for poor children be expanded? How will the issue impact the ongoing campaign? Also, after a shoot-out involving Blackwater USA, the Iraqi government wants to crack down on America's private security forces and, on Reporter's Notebook, the US Agency for International Development versus the Taliban in the toughest place in Afghanistan.

Producers:
Katie Cooper
Vanessa Romo
Dan Konecky

Main Topic Health Insurance on Capitol Hill and the Presidential Trail 33 MIN, 18 SEC

While Hillary Clinton and the rest of the candidates are debating healthcare reform, President Bush and the Congress are at odds over a current program that's about to expire. The State Children's Health Insurance Program was created to provide coverage for children of the working poor—kids whose parents make too much for Medicaid but still can't afford private insurance. After ten years, both parties agree it's been a success—but it's scheduled to expire at the end of this month. In the Senate, Democrats and Republicans have agreed to expand it into the lower middle class. In the House, Democrats working alone have approved a much bigger expansion. President Bush has threatened to veto either version. Claiming that expansion of the program would move middle class families who can afford private insurance to let the government pay, the Administration has enacted new guidelines, requiring privately insured families to wait for a year before they're eligible for SCHIP.

Guests:
Alex Wayne, Bloomberg News (@aawayne)
Ann Clemency Kohler, New Jersey Deputy Commissioner of Human Services
Gail Russell Chaddock, Christian Science Monitor (@RussellChaddock)
Michael Tanner, Director of Health and Welfare Studies, Cato Institute
Roger Hickey, Campaign for America's Future

Reporter's Notebook Securing Afghanistan's Hydroelectric Jewel 9 MIN, 49 SEC

Helmand Province is the toughest place in Afghanistan, full of drug lords, smugglers and the insurgent Taliban. That's why the US Agency for International Development is there—building its fifth largest project in the entire world. USAID is developing Helmand Province as if it were a country.  The centerpiece is a hydroelectric project called the Kajaki Dam. The US will invest some $500 million to restore the dam, but for the moment nearby villages are empty and access roads have been cut off by the Taliban.  Carlotta Gall reports from Afghanistan for the New York Times.

Guests:
Carlotta Gall, Correspondent, New York Times

Making News Iraq to Review Security Contractors after Shooting 5 MIN, 54 SEC

After a shoot-out involving Blackwater USA, the government of Iraq wants to crack down on private America's security contractors.  Megan Greenwell is in Baghdad for the Washington Post.

Guests:
Megan Greenwell, Staff writer for the Washington Post

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