Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney may have a cure-all for health care reform as the Supreme Court hears arguments about the constitutionality of the law on Monday. The 2,700-page legislation is sure to prove a "costly nightmare" Mr. Romney says, promising that as president, he'd repeal it, then forge a health care system guided by state flexibility, market competition and consumer choice. The candidate already has appointed a five-man "health care policy advisory group" that appears ready to rumble.
At the ready: Scott Atlas, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and chief of neuroradiology at the Stanford University Medical Center; Tom Barker, deputy general counsel and later general counsel for the Health and Human Services Department during the George W. Bush administration; Scott Gottlieb, a practicing physician, American Enterprise Institute fellow and a former Bush-era official in the Food and Drug Administration; Paul Howard, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute; and Tevi Troy, a Hudson Institute senior fellow and former deputy secretary of Health and Human Services in the Bush administration.
If Americans pine for kitchen table economics over unwieldy legislation, a comprehensive "chicken soup"-style health care system with a recipe of straightforward ingredients may cure costly symptoms of Obamacare, some reason.
"The new policy group has someone from Hoover, Hudson, AEI, and Manhattan - four key conservative think tanks. As for what works, all four of the think-tank folks are dedicated to explaining health care in a clear, digestible, and understandable chicken soup way for the public," a source assures Inside the Beltway.
HEARING THE HEARINGS
Yes, there will be much analyses and speculation from pundits, journalists and news organizations when the Supreme Court's health care extravaganza begins. But with cameras barred from the hallowed halls, the most immediate, unvarnished coverage of the historic arguments for true political junkies and even the press itself will go back to the, uh, thrilling days of radio.
C-SPAN will present "same day audio" Monday through Wednesday. The much-awaited oral arguments will air on C-SPAN 3, C-SPAN Radio and C-SPAN.org as soon as they are released each day. The "approximate time" is 1 p.m. the network says.
THE REAL HAWKS
Just in time to rescue the over-informed and politically weary: a high definition webcam trained upon Big Red, a red-tailed hawk incubating three eggs in a nest atop a light pole, some 80 feet above the athletic fields of Cornell University. Mama hawk's chicks hatch in about 28 days; her feathers shift in the wind, and yes, she has a certain reassuring serenity worth pondering. A dutiful papa shows up for his shift as well.
The camera belongs to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Discover the details of this extraordinary bit of technology and bird patience here: www.allaboutbirds.org. The exact red-tailed hawk webcam address is http://www.allaboutbirds.org/page.aspx?pid=2422&ac=ac.
GINGRICH A GO-GO
Is it a telling frenzy of activity and determination, a big finale, maybe? Here's where Republican presidential helpful Newt Gingrich is in the next six days: Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, the nation's capital and Wisconsin.
For those trying to keep track of all the excruciating details: D.C., Maryland, Texas and Wisconsin hold primaries April 3; Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island enter the fray on April 24. And the latest Gallup five-day tracking poll average on the candidates, this through Saturday afternoon: Mitt Romney garners 41 percent of the GOP vote, down 1 percentage point. Mr. Santorum sustains 26 percent, Mr. Gingrich 13 percent, down 2 percentage points.
MOVEON ON THE MOVE
Never an organization to stay idle for long, MoveOn.Org is readying a national uprising called "99% Spring." They're in active and melodramatic recruitment mode for "one of the most audacious training projects in American history," the 5 million-member, mostly progressive activist group says.
"From April 9-15 we will gather across America, 100,000 strong, in homes, places of worship, campuses and the streets to join together in the work of reclaiming our country. We will organize trainings to tell the story of our economy: how we got here, who's responsible, what a different future could look like, and what we can do about it," the group says in a rallying letter signed by leaders from 40 organizations - from United Auto Workers and Greenpeace to Progressive Democrats of America and the Ruckus Society.
"This spring we rise! We will reshape our country with our own hands and feet, bodies and hearts. We will take non-violent action in the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi to forge a new destiny one block, one neighborhood, one city, one state at a time," the signers proclaim.
POLL DU JOUR
• 52 percent of Americans are satisfied with the candidate "choices" available to them for president.
• 52 percent of Republicans, 51 percent of conservatives, 66 percent of Democrats and 64 percent of liberals agree.
• 50 percent overall say the Republican primary has "hurt" GOP chances of winning the presidential election.
• 32 percent of Republicans, 35 percent of conservatives, 70 percent of Democrats and 70 percent of liberals agree.
• 46 percent overall say the GOP primary has hurt the "national political dialogue."
• 22 percent of Republicans, 56 percent of conservatives, 60 percent of Democrats and 60 percent of liberals agree.
• 40 percent overall say the GOP primary has hurt Republican chances of winning congressional elections.
• 27 percent of Republicans, 31 percent of conservatives, 66 percent of Democrats and 67 percent of liberals agree.
Source: A Harris Poll of 2,451 adults conducted March 12-19.
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