American Morning

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February 25th, 2010
10:00 AM ET

Gibbs on health care summit

Today, President Obama is sitting down with Democrats and Republicans for a televised six-hour summit on health care. It could be the administration's last hope for meaningful reform.

But there's no guarantee the two parties can co-exist in the same room, let alone reach some kind of agreement. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs joined us on Thursday's American Morning to discuss what we can expect.

Watch Live: Obama opens health care summit

Filed under: Politics
February 25th, 2010
09:00 AM ET

Broken Government: Push to redraw Congressional districts

(CNN) – All this week, we're using the full resources of CNN to look at Washington gridlock in our special series, "Broken Government."

Today, we're investigating gerrymandering. It's an old political trick, but simply put, it means dividing up local voting districts to give one party or another a political edge.

The way these lines are drawn can swing entire elections. One example is Maryland's second district. At its longest point, it's about 50 miles. At its shortest – about 1,700 feet.

One possible solution is to bring in independent commissions to re-draw districts. But how likely is that? We sent our Jason Carroll to California to find out.

Filed under: Broken Government • Politics
February 25th, 2010
08:00 AM ET

RI district fires entire high school staff

In one tiny, poverty-stricken city in the nation's smallest state, a big battle is erupting at the local high school.

The school board in Central Falls, Rhode Island has voted to fire every teacher. It's part of a new federal push for education reform that requires each state to identify its worst performing schools and take specific action to fix them.

But is wiping out an entire staff the most sensible approach? We were joined on Thursday's American Morning by Deborah Gist, education commissioner for the state of Rhode Island.

Read more: All teachers fired at Rhode Island school

Filed under: Education cuts
February 25th, 2010
07:00 AM ET

Health care fight in plain sight

Today could be a do-or-die day for health care reform. In just a few hours, President Obama will host a health care summit that will be live for the nation to see.

What is supposed to be a day of compromise is already shaping up to be more of the same. There is some grade school-like bickering going on over things like – who invited whom, the shape of the table and seating assignments, and one senator is already saying there may be nothing to talk about.

So many of you are asking, what's the point? Our Dana Bash gives us a preview.

Related: Key players in the health care debate

Filed under: Politics
February 25th, 2010
06:00 AM ET

Tempers flare ahead of bipartisan health care summit

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Hours before the White House's bipartisan summit on health care reform, lawmakers didn't appear ready for compromise."]

Washington (CNN) - The day before the White House's bipartisan summit on health care reform, there didn't appear to be much mood for compromise on Capitol Hill.

Sen. Chris Dodd, a key author of the Senate health care bill, told reporters flatly Wednesday that if Republicans continue to demand that Democrats scrap their health care proposals and start over, "then there's nothing to talk about."

"If you expect me to start all over on this, there's really not much point in this, 'cause we're not going to start over," Dodd said.

But Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell argued that's exactly what Republicans want.

"Unless they're willing to do that, I think it's nearly impossible to imagine a scenario under which we can reach agreement because we don't think we ought to pass a 2,700-page bill that seeks to restructure one-sixth of our economy," McConnell said.

Dodd said Democrats and Republicans could find some common ground in some areas, such as a Republican push to allow insurers to sell insurance across state lines. Dodd called the GOP proposal "a legitimate issue" but added that Democrats already have a version of that proposal in their legislation. FULL STORY

Watch the summit LIVE on, starting at 10 a.m. ET.

Filed under: Politics
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