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Congress: Health care is done, finally

Simply put: "The Congressional Democratic push to overhaul health care is finally, at very long last, done," Roll Call writes. So what did they pass in this package of changes? "The package makes a number of changes to the Senate-authored health care overhaul demanded by House Democrats. It dramatically scales back and delays until 2018 a tax on high-cost "Cadillac" insurance plans, strikes some special deals cut with individual Senators, boosts affordability credits, and adds a revamp of the student-loan industry."

The Boston Globe adds, "Congress put the final touches on a sweeping health care package last night, but the historic votes were clouded by the growing drama over threats to congressmen who voted for the package and the reaction from colleagues who tried to stop the bill. While Democrats reported harassment and threats -- including a coffin that showed up on the lawn of Russ Carnahan, Democrat of Missouri -- a senior Republican leader went on the offensive, accusing the majority party of using the behavior for political gain."

"Amid reports of vandalism and threats directed at House Democrats, a dispute has arisen between Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-Mo., and a local conservative activist over the meaning of a protest that occurred Sunday at the congressman's home," USA Today writes. "A Carnahan spokesman criticized health care bill opponents who carried a coffin as part of a non-violent protest outside the congressman's office and home on Sunday. Carnahan spokesman Jim Hubbard called the demonstration 'over the line.'" More: "Video of the protest taken by television station KDSK shows protesters gathered peacefully around the coffin, lighting candles and praying. 'This represents death to part of what we grew up with: our freedom,' conservative activist Jim Hoft told the television station at the protest."

Here's video from a local affiliate. 
 
And Roll Call has this headline: "Police Concerned About Parliamentarian's Safety." The story: "Tea party protesters are reportedly planning a protest at the home of Senate Parliamentarian Alan Frumin later this week, prompting Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance Gainer to work with local law enforcement officials to ensure Frumin's safety."

"New York City police are investigating an envelope containing white powder that was sent to a Queens district office of Rep. Anthony Weiner (D), the lawmaker said in a statement." 
 
"Republican Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite received a death threat via voicemail Thursday at her district office in Brooksville, Fla., according to the Congresswoman's office. 'Just wanna let you know that I have 27 people that are going to make sure this b**** does not live to see her next term. Good-bye,' the caller said, according to a release from Brown-Waite's office." 
 
"A photograph of a noose was faxed to one of House Majority Whip James Clyburn's (D-S.C.) district offices Thursday," The Hill reports, adding, "News Channel 15 reports that Clyburn's staff also said that the congressman's wife answered threatening phone calls to their home." 

Lindsey Graham talks about the impossibility of bipartisanship and calls Obama a "partisan politician." "The process that led to the passage of this bill was sleazy," Grahama said, per Roll Call, after the reconciliation package of fixes passed. "It did not represent the best of the United States Senate… The consequences of passing this bill, this way, will last for a very long time… One of the collateral damages of this process and this bill is that, in my view, the president has lost some moral authority to lead this nation in the future to make hard decisions. He [Obama] has become, in my view, a partisan politician in the worst sense of the term."

"Rep. Dave Reichert (R-Wash.) on Wednesday underwent surgery to address a chronic subdural hematoma, according to a statement from his office," Roll Call writes.