Dissent

Health-Care Backlash Begins

Not surprisingly, critics of President Obama's new, landmark health-care bill have emerged in force. After the legislation cleared a key Senate committee on Wednesday, industry players and moderate Democrats the committee had wooed for months spoke out against it, raising questions about the prospects of a bipartisan bill. Their concerns dealt mainly with insurance-industry fees and medical cost controls. About 1,000 insurance agents spread out across Capitol Hill, the Washington Post reported, lobbying against a government-sponsored plan that would compete with private firms. "This scares the heck out of me," said Tom Minkler, president of Clark Mortenson Agency, an insurance and financial services firm. Meanwhile, Mike Ross, a Democratic congressman from Arkansas, spoke out for the New Democrat Coalition, saying the group has enough votes to thwart the bill, which "does not reflect many of (their) concerns."