Morning Must Reads: “Fiery”

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

–President Obama is on the road again Wednesday, trying to carry health reform over the finish line. The consensus on Monday’s outing: “fiery.” Expect more of the same today in St. Louis, plus plenty of knocks on health insurers, the administration’s favorite foil.

–Speaking of which, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is crashing a gathering of health insurance execs at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington today.

–Industry lobby AHIP seeks to defend itself with a new ad campaign arguing insurers aren’t the biggest contributor to exorbitant health care costs. The premise is more or less right. This chart suggests despite being fairly inefficient, they’re not an outsized piece of the pie.

–David Leonhardt has a useful big-picture look at the cost conundrum in today’s New York Times.

–Kate was definitely onto something. Two more stories this morning about the GOP’s plan to rattle House Dems on health care. An interesting tidbit from the Politico piece:

“If it gets down to where we’re fighting reconciliation, the game’s over,” Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) told POLITICO.

For all the bluster over plans to derail things in the upper chamber, Gregg recognizes House passage of the Senate bill is the lone pivotal test remaining.

–The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee unveils a working list of open and Republican seats they’re targeting for pick-up in November.

–Ralph Reed, the aforementioned “Right Hand of God,” is expected to announce his decision today on whether he’ll run for Congress.

–Paterson’s plunge in the polls appears to have bottomed out, but not before dragging Andrew Cuomo halfway into the sinkhole.

–He says he’ll call a special election to fill Eric Massa’s seat ASAP.

–The folks at Smart Politics note Republicans carried that region by an average of 43.4 points in House races from 1986-2006.

–And in case you missed it, Massa and Glenn Beck had a surreal discussion about “tickle fights.”

What did I miss?