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FROM THIS EPISODE

For the first time since Bill Clinton's first term as president, healthcare reform is at the top the White House agenda. We hear what Barack Obama is doing to seize the moment on universal coverage, cost control and the debate between private and public insurance. Also, Obama announces stimulus money for summer jobs, and Lebanon's ruling coalition appears to have defeated an electoral challenge from Hezbollah.  Did President Obama's speech to the Muslim world help increase the turnout?


Banner image: Healthcare reform activists hold signs as they protest outside the office of US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi May 29, 2009 in San Francisco, California. Dozens of healthcare reform activists staged a protest outside the office of Speaker Pelosi's office urging her to support single payer healthcare legislation HR 676, the US National Healthcare Act, authored by US Rep. John Conyers (D-MI). Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Main Topic Is This Finally the Moment for Healthcare Reform? 36 MIN, 43 SEC

President Obama says healthcare costs are the biggest obstacle to economic recovery, and a powerful coalition of interest groups has been assembled. The President wants reform enacted before Congress goes home in August, but devilish details are not yet resolved. Insurance companies are all in favor of mandatory coverage, but an optional public plan could drive them away from the table. Some consumer groups won't support anything but a single-payer plan. We look at policy options, politics and efforts at cost control.

Guests:
Richard Kirsch, National Campaign Manager, Health Care for America Now
Robert Zirkelbach, Spokesman, America's Health Insurance Plans
Margaret Flowers, Steering Committee member, Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care
Alex Wayne, Bloomberg News (@aawayne)

Reporter's Notebook Setback for Hezbollah in Lebanese Elections 6 MIN, 3 SEC

Elections in Lebanon have produced a surprising result. The ruling coalition supported by the US and other western countries appears to have defeated an opposition challenge led by Hezbollah. Lebanon’s parliament has 128 seats, and a big turnout of voters seems to have delivered 70 seats to the ruling coalition. That doesn’t mean that forming a new government will be easy. Nicholas Blanford is based in Beirut for the Christian Science Monitor.

Guests:
Nicholas Blanford, Christian Science Monitor

Killing Mr. Lebanon

Nicholas Blanford

Making News Obama Announces Stimulus Money for Summer Jobs 6 MIN, 42 SEC

The President met with his Cabinet today about economic recovery. He said "modest progress" is not enough, and announced plans to use economic stimulus money to save or create 600,000 jobs. Michael Fletcher is White House correspondent for the Washington Post.

Guests:
Michael Fletcher, Washington Post

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