Writes the New York Times' Robert Pear: "As companies devise insurance policies for the new Medicare drug program, federal officials are pressing them to offer a surprisingly generous array of prescription drug choices, according to industry executives." LINK
"Medicare will rely on private health plans to deliver drug benefits to the elderly and the disabled. Insurers worry that Medicare officials' insistence on a robust drug benefit will make it hard for them to control the costs of the program. But the officials say their policies will ensure that all 41 million beneficiaries have affordable access to the drugs they need."
"Nearly six in 10 Americans think global warming likely is underway and as many accept that human activities play a significant role. But -- like the Bush administration -- most part company with scientists' calls for prompt government action," writes ABC News' Gary Langer.
"That lack of urgency stems from perceptions of the hazard: While a vast majority, nearly eight in 10, believe global warming will pose a serious threat to future generations, far fewer -- just one-third -- think it'll affect their own lives. The majority who see the risk as a distant one overwhelmingly prefer more study to immediate action. The majority view aligns in this respect with the Bush administration, which has focused on uncertainties in climate science, urged further study and supported only voluntary steps through 2012 to slow greenhouse gas emissions. The administration has rejected the Kyoto treaty on global warming, which went into effect in February and now has 150 signatories."
The New York Times' Andrew Revkin writes of Phil Cooney's sudden departure from the Administration to Exxon Mobile but doesn't know what Cooney will do for the oil company. LINK
Jonathan Weisman of the Washington Post has the details of the debate that sent the Central American Free Trade Agreement out of the Senate Finance Committee yesterday by a vote of 11 to 9, including criticism for the White House for being less than willing to consult with Congress. LINK
The New York Times' Sheryl Gay Stolberg Notes that Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor, who earlier voted to cut off debate on John Bolton's nomination, seems to have changed his mind. "'If they continue to be reasonable,' Mr. Pryor said, referring to Democrats, 'and the White House won't provide information, I want to reserve the right to change my vote. I think this is a matter of balance of power and checks and balances.'" LINK
Duke Cunningham's "deal:"
Anne Kornblut in the New York Times suggests that the deadlocked ethics committee, whenever it gets going, might consider Rep. Cunningham's case. LINK
Roll Call's Paul Kane reports that some Senate Republicans are prepping to move a Supreme Court nominee through the process quickly by planning to run out the clock -- or at least announcing the nominee later in the summer to give activists who would go after a nominee less time to prepare, according to Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX).
The Washington Post's Mike Allen and Brian Faler pore over lawmakers' disclosure forms and trips paid for by outside groups, which Senators on both sides defend as a necessary part of the job. LINK