IN THE NEWS
• Republicans pounced after Missouri voters on Tuesday voted overwhelmingly against a federal requirement that all Americans buy health insurance by 2014 or face a fine. The vote is symbolic, but nonetheless has put the White House and some Missouri Democrats on the defensive — at least for a day.
• While Congress jousted over the Missouri vote, thousands of uninsured patients waited hours Wednesday to receive free healthcare services just a few blocks from the Capitol — part of a nationwide tour sponsored by the National Association of Free Clinics.
Every member of Congress was invited to stop in. Only Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) accepted, The Washington Independent reports.
• The federal investigation intensifies into the doping allegations against Lance Armstrong.
• Jacob Hacker makes the case for reviving the public option the next time Congress takes up healthcare reform on a grand scale.
"[R]eformers will need to call plainly for a greater government role — armed … with concrete examples of government getting things right," he writes in The American Prospect.
"[The public option] is popular. It will save serious money. And it can function as a sword of Damocles: If insurers fail to live up to the obligations of the law and tackle rising costs, they will face the only form of accountability that really matters in the private market — losing customers."
• The Medicare trustees will unveil their annual report at 11 this morning at the Treasury building.
• The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee gathers Thursday to mark up a series of bills related to vets' healthcare.
• Health Affairs is hosting a panel discussion on providers' transition to electronic health records.
• The Kaiser Family Foundation on Thursday will host a panel discussion on the international AIDS conference held in Vienna last month.
• The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration meets to examine ways to make kids safer during ambulance rides.