August 21st, 2009

August 21: Health Care Reform News

By Kelley Luckstein

Mankato health reform forum live

Here we are at a health-reform forum in Mankato with U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, Dr. Doug Wood of Mayo Clinic, Phil Stalboerger (a vice president at Blue Cross and Blue Shield) and Brad Meier.  The crowd tonight (Thursday, August 20, 2009) is in way overflow mode.  There are probably about 700 people in the auditorium…Dr. Doug Wood of Mayo Clinic said "defensive medicine" (malpractice insurance) is a relatively small part of the cost of health care.  But that's hard to quantify, he says.  Minnesota as a state has some of the highest quality health care in the country Wood said (some of best quality care at lowest cost).  The status quo is certainly not sustainable and not acceptable, Wood says. 

 

Post-Bulletin by Jeff Hansel, 08/20/09

 

 

What Will Bring About More Mayo Clinics?

David Ignatius has an interesting piece in today’s Washington Post on what Dr. Denis Cortese, the head of the Mayo Clinic, is saying about the health-care debate as it has been playing out this summer. Dr. Cortese certainly comes to the reform table with unsurpassed credentials.  Mayo is universally acknowledged to be an industry leader in high quality, low cost health-care — the kind of health-care people would like to see available in every town in America.  So when Dr. Cortese speaks, people listen, and rightfully so.

 

National Review by James Capretta, 8/20/2009

 

 

TOP STORIES

Pelosi:  No Bill Without Public Option

Politico

August 21, 2009

Foreshadowing a House-Senate showdown, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday there is "no way" the House can pass a health care bill without a government-run insurance option.

Faith in Obama Drops as Reform Fears Rise

The Washington Post

August 21, 2009

 

Public confidence in President Obama's leadership has declined sharply over the summer, amid intensifying opposition to health care reform that threatens to undercut his attempt to enact major changes to the system.

 

Pull the Plug on ObamaCare

The Wall Street Journal

August 21, 2009

 

It’s the best cure for what ails the Obama presidency.

 

Why Democrats May Jam Through Health Care Plan

The Washington Examiner

August 21, 2009

It's precisely that scenario that most terrifies Republicans - Democrats are intent on building a health care reform plan and Republicans don't have the votes to stop them.

 

INSURANCE

Health Insurance Debate Turns to Issue of Co-Ops

USA Today

August 21, 2009

 

Co-ops, which would be run by their patients instead of the government, have been under discussion in Congress for months but gained renewed attention this week.

 

 

TRANSPARENCY/SAFETY

A Basis is Seen for Some Health Plan Fears among the Elderly

The New York Times

August 21, 2009

 

Bills now in Congress would squeeze savings out of Medicare, a lifeline for the elderly, on the assumption that doctors and hospitals can be more efficient. 

Most Americans Expect to Pay Higher Taxes

The Los Angeles Times

August 21, 2009

 

The vast majority of Americans surveyed believe that they will pay higher income taxes by the final year of Obama's term in 2012.

 

 

WELLNESS/CHRONIC CARE

The Truth about Death Counseling

The Washington Post

August 21, 2009

 

It's surely not a death panel, but it is subtle pressure applied by society through your doctor.

 

 

REFORM EFFORTS

Finance Committee Negotiators ‘Committed’ To Bipartisan Bill

Politico

August 21, 2009

Talks between key members of the Senate Finance Committee produced no deal or no stalemate, ensuring that the controversial negotiations over a sprawling health care bill will continue at least until September.

White House Health Plan Back to Square One

Politico

August 21, 2009

 

Nine months into the year, Obama's health care reform effort is in serious trouble. What went wrong?

 

Splitting the Bills?

Health Policy and Market Place Review

August 20, 2009

 

The latest word is that the Democratic leadership and the White House see a 60 percent chance they will split their health care bill into two parts.

 

Obama:  Reform More Than Public Option

Politico

August 21, 2009

President Barack Obama said his health secretary didn’t misspeak when she said that the administration doesn’t consider a government-run health insurance option the only way to reform the health care system.

AARP Takes Heat over Health Stand

The Wall Street Journal

August 21, 2009

 

AARP thinks U.S. health care needs a sweeping overhaul. Problem is, a lot of its members don't agree.

 

Key Senators Discuss Trimming Health Bill

The Washington Post

August 21, 2009

 

Senate health care negotiators agreed to ignore the increasingly strident rhetoric from Republican and Democratic leaders and to keep working toward a bill that can win broad support from the rank-and-file in both parties.

 

Obama Faults GOP in Health Debate

The Wall Street Journal

August 21, 2009

 

President Barack Obama, seeking to rally his base, accused Republican leaders of trying to block a health care overhaul from the start and again threw his weight behind a government-run insurance plan.

 

 

A Floundering Campaign on Health Care

The Boston Globe

August 21, 2009

 

Some of President Obama's strongest supporters are suggesting that his discipline has slipped as prospects for the passage of health care reform becomes murkier.

 

 

NEW ADMINISTRATION

Administration Poll

The Washington Post

August 21, 2009

 

For the first time, Obama’s numbers drop below 50. 

 

Obama’s Trust Problem

The New York Times - Op-Ed

August 21, 2009

 

Progressives are now in revolt; Mr. Obama took their trust for granted, and in the process lost it. Now he needs to win it back.

 

 

EMPLOYERS

Health Premiums Up 95 Percent since 2000

The Philadelphia Inquirer

August 21, 2009

 

Between 2000 and 2009, the cost of a family premium provided by an employer increased 95.2% while median income went up just 17.5%, according to a new report by Families USA.

 

 

MISCELLANEOUS

Taxing Health Benefits Would Hurt Poor Working Families More Than Rich

Health Leaders Media

August 21, 2009

 

Imposing a tax on health benefits would hurt lower income people much more than it would impose burdens on the wealthy, according to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Tags: health care reform, Health Policy, Health Policy

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