March 5th, 2009
11:45 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Brad Pitt in the House

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/01/30/obama.schip/art.schip.gi.jpg caption="President Obama hosts a health care summit at the White House today."]

Penny Manis
AC360° Senior Producer

Health Care is at the top of the White House agenda today. The President hosts a summit with doctors, patients and lawmakers to discuss the nation’s health care infrastructure.

Word has it that even cancer-stricken Senator Ted Kennedy may attend, though his office will not confirm. He has been an important dealmaker in the effort to reform health care in this country.

This summit kicks off the legislative effort to cut costs and expand coverage which President Obama and other Democrats say they want done by as early as August. Critics worry that the President is taking on an ambitious and expensive effort at a time when the economy needs full attention, and that the President may be biting off more than he can chew. An estimated 46 million Americans are currently uninsured.

We also watch a vote in the Senate today on the 2009 budget. Critics have complained this bill is full of pork, and 2 Senate Democrats (Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and Evan Bayh of Indiana) are now urging President Obama to veto the $410 billion spending bill because they say it’s expensive and full of earmarks. Will he sign, a day after he made a pledge to cut back on wasteful government spending?

California’s Supreme Court hears arguments on why Proposition 8, the ban on same-sex marriage, should be overturned. They are allowing cameras to film the proceedings, so it should be interesting!

Gary Tuchman flew to Mexico following the State Department travel advisory against heading there for Spring Break. Rosarito and Ensenada are only a drive away from Southern California, but sit along drug routes to the United States. Violence has been rampant, and as spring break kicks up, we talk to those who have ignored calls to stay away. He’ll have this story tonight.

Mr. Angelina Jolie hits Capitol Hill today. That will stir things up, right? He meets with Nancy Pelosi to discuss “Make it Right’-a project launched in 2007 to construct affordable and sustainable housing for low-income residents of the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans. You can be sure cameras will be there to snap that picture, and sorry but the gals on AC360 don’t need many excuses to feature a shot of Brad Pitt at 10pet.

See u tonight!!

Filed under: Penny Manis • The Buzz
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Sharon S

    Well seeing as Mr. Pitt and Mr. Clooney have taken on such political roles these days why don't they foot the bill for what they want done?
    I hear Angelina and Pitt are very wealthy so I assume he can put his money where his mouth is and stop asking us the people who actually work in this country for even more handouts!

    I wish these stupid actors would stay at what they do best act and get over paid for it!

    March 5, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  2. Janet Taylor

    No matter how the President tries, he will always not be liked by a lot of people. Health Care Reform is urgently needed, in fact this will reduce overtime expenses that has to be paid out inorder for those who have to work longer hours to get the work done. Also, people are not gullible anymore just listening to people like "Rush". Can't he deliver without have to seem so aggressive. The President should be scared of him. "I am". "Please Mr, President do not meet with Mr scary Rush. The Republicans are trying to make if seems as if Mr. Obama caused all of this crisis. The Republicans mash us the USA.

    March 5, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  3. earle,florida

    If "Universal Health Care" in the United States is implemented it would be a,"Win-Win for All-Inclusive(large&small) Business,and the Self-Employed Public"! The Corporate World would pay a premium similar to the matching funds they already make [medicare tax(FICA)],but now there would be no need for duplicity,ie) the medicare tax,etc.! The only responsibilities big-business would have regarding health care for their employees would be choosing the generic,and/or various programs that are now offered under the current "Medicare Program",known as supplement's! Thus eliminating a huge/costly fringe-benefit program their currently saddled with, that now can be subsidized by the US Government (through modest premiums) thus eventually adding (great savings) to their bottom-line. The self-employed also cut their cost to the bottom line by paying alittle extra to the Universal Health Care Program on a measured sliding scale,modified within certain parameter. It basically becomes a "Wash",and the great part is that it moves America into the 21st Century,regarding our somewhat 3rd world health care system we currently have been using for the past century,...JMHO

    March 5, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  4. Liz B.

    As a resident of New Orleans I completely appreciate all of the help that Brad Pitt is organizing, and I can see that it isn't publicity oriented–at least for him, who seems to merely put up with the publicity to further the program. However, I have a few qualms with the program, the main being the fact that the houses are built with more concern for modern design than for the people living in them. The majority of the designs are so focused on so called "sustainability" that they seem to have forgotten that the homeowners they are designing for will unlikely be able to sustain the appearances of these sometimes ridiculous looking houses. Which brings me to a somewhat less important issue with the aesthetics of these houses. Although it is not true for all houses, most stick out like a sore thumb against traditional architecture in New Orleans. The point of this is not to sound ungrateful–obviously any housing for these families is beneficial–my concern is for 5 years down the road, when Brad Pitt and his designers are off to bigger and better things. What will this neighborhood look like then? This utopian solution will most likely be in varying states of delapidation because the concern was placed on creating inventive housing instead of inventing housing that would benefit the people living in it.

    March 5, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  5. John O

    I agree with cindy. just look at the seat from whence Obama came from. It was and is a focci of corrupt power and evil. Obama just has a slick version of the dog ate his homework story when answering for the nomination of tax cheats and dodgers, lobbyists and criticizing the Big 3 and then spending White House money for events where to the taxpayer perception he self righteously has an unlimited entertainment expense acount available to him.
    The Rush attack was designed to take the heat away from his sign opff on earmarks and the reappearance of the issue that just won't go away...birth certificate and academic records and his thesis.

    March 5, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  6. Michelle D . Fonthill. Ont

    Yeah i agree with you Micheal come to Canada CNN and keep the John Deere Plant honest with thier recent closure and move all their resources to Mexico of all places.

    March 5, 2009 at 9:56 am |
  7. Michelle D . Fonthill. Ont

    Good Morning Penny

    Woo-hoo Brad is in the house how easy is that on the eyes ! At least he is trying to help low income families down in New Orleans after everything they have been through and been jerked around on rebuilding thier lives after Katrina . It has not been easy for anyone and they need someone to understand Brad is not stuck on Hollywood life enough to helpo which is great to see at times like these with the economy . When is Anderson going back to New orleans again ? He is the hero of New Orleans . Anderson is the best ! He can keep them honest like no other.

    Thanks for the buzz !
    Have a great day
    Michelle D.

    March 5, 2009 at 9:21 am |
  8. Michael C. Mchugh

    Probably the simplest way to provide health care to the uninsured is to expand Medicare, or at least offer it as an option to people who are below retirement age.

    Everyone knows it will be expensive, and that it cannot be paid for by higher taxes alone. I have sugegsted many times that the Federal reserve will just have to subsidize Social Security and Medicare directly, year by year, especially with the Baby Boomers starting to retire. They need to be pensioned off and medicated, and it certainly doesn't look like they'll be getting much from investing in the stock market. They'd have been better off buying tax free municipal bonds.

    In any case, we can expect the doctors, insurance companies and drug companies to oppose any effort to expand health care to the uninsured. Republicans will oppose it tooth and nail, as well, and all President Obama can do is prepare for the onslaught. This is what has always happened in teh past, but if anyone can face down his opponents, it's Obama.

    CNN should also travel to countries like Canada, Britain and Demark, which all have national health insurance, just to counter the propaganda that will be coming full force against any of Obama's reform plans.

    March 5, 2009 at 9:19 am |
  9. Cindy

    Obama is going to come up against mighty opposition from these big medical companies, from insurance companies and many others when he tries to make health care free. They won't just lay down and allow it to happen. Plus MANY of the people in congress are in these companies back pockets getting major cash from them so they will not be as willing to give in to Obama like they did on the stimulus stuff.

    Oh..Obama will sign the budget bill no matter how many earmarks are in it. He is paying back the people that got him to where he is...that is obvious! He won't cut them out because he needs the dems to back his health care reform bill. Tit for tat...same old business as always!

    I could care less what any celeb does...most of them just do charity work for the publicity. If cameras can't be around when they do it they won't bother. At least Brad puts his money where his mouth is and actually does things for others and doesn't have to have it plastered all over the papers every time he does it. Hopefully he'll get the people of NOLA some much needed help. It seems everyone has forgotten about them...even Cooper and 360.


    March 5, 2009 at 9:19 am |
  10. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Mr. Angelina Jolie hits Capitol Hill today. That will stir things up, right? He meets with Nancy Pelosi to discuss “Make it Right’-a project launched in 2007 to construct affordable and sustainable housing for low-income residents of the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans.-–that meeting will surely test the melting point of her botox.

    March 5, 2009 at 8:54 am |