October 2: Health Care Reform Coverage

Posted on October 2nd, 2009 by Kelley Luckstein

Mayo Clinic’s Chief Finds Health Care Debate ‘Heartbreaking’

The White House has often held out the Mayo Clinic as a model for health care. But Dr. Denis A. Cortese, thecortese clinic’s chief executive, says he is disgusted with the current machinations in Washington over how to overhaul the nation’s health care system.

 

“Look at all the time we’re wasting,” Mr. Cortese said in an interview Thursday, critiquing the congressional debate. “It’s pretty heartbreaking to watch.”

 

Dr. Cortese, who has shared his views with White House officials and some Congressional Democrats, argues that Congress has become too enmeshed in the details — discussing what the benefit package in a health plan should look like, for example. Instead, he says, Congress should try to draft legislation charting an overall direction toward better medical care for the nation, then leave implementation to, say, the Department of Health and Human Services…

 

NY Times by Reed Abelson, 10/1/09

 

Additional health care reform coverage:

Health Beat Blog – Maggie Mahar

BNET

 

 

TOP STORIES

Committee Finishes Markup; Vote Possible Next Week

Politico

October 2, 2009

The Senate Finance Committee finished its work Friday on a sweeping health care reform bill, moving President Barack Obama a step closer to fulfilling his campaign pledge to overhaul the $2.5 trillion system.

Additional Coverage:

Finance Committee Stays Late to Finish Work on Health Care Bill - The Washington Post

U.S. Senate Panel Set to Advance Health Care Overhaul - Reuters

 

Senators Bristle over Reid’s Deal

Politico

October 1, 2009

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid moved swiftly to ensure that his home state of Nevada wouldn’t be hurt by Medicaid changes included in the health care reform bill moving through the Senate Finance Committee and now some of his Democratic colleagues are demanding the same treatment for their states.

Report Paints Dark Picture of Health Care Costs in 2019

The Wall Street Journal

October 1, 2009

A report out today gives a state-by-state projection that concludes of how the number of people without health insurance will increase, spending on Medicaid and children’s health care programs will balloon and out-of-pocket health costs for individuals and families will jump.

 


INSURANCE

Insurance Executive Pay Curbed in Health Bill

The Wall Street Journal

October 2, 2009

 

Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee voted to encourage limits on the compensation of insurance executives, responding to charges that expanding health insurance coverage would enrich insurance companies.

 

Senate Panel Softening Insurance Penalty

The New York Times

October 1, 2009

 

The Senate Finance Committee voted Thursday to soften the impact of financial penalties that would be imposed on people who did not obtain insurance under sweeping health care legislation.

 

 

WELLNESS/CHRONIC CARE

Doctors Slash Vaccines Due to Rising Costs

CNN Money

October 2, 2009

Health care providers say insurers don't reimburse them enough for essential vaccinations, so they're not offering them.

STATE NEWS

Medical Home Pilots Will Impact 20,000 Blue Cross of Illinois Beneficiaries

Fierce Healthcare

October 2, 2009

 

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois has launched medical home pilot programs with two Chicago-area group practices. As with other medical home projects, these physicians are being paid more to provide patients with more intense services and better coordinated care between the practice and specialists.

MEDICARE/MEDICAID

Doctors Fight Penalty for Heavy Test Use

The Wall Street Journal

October 2, 2009

Doctors are trying to remove a provision in the Senate's latest health bill that would cut Medicare payments to those who administer the most tests and treatments.

Insurers Drop Some Medicare Plans as Rules Tighten

The Wall Street Journal

October 1, 2009

 

More than 660,000 seniors next year will lose the private Medicare plans they now have because some insurers are dropping coverage in response to tougher federal requirements.

 

 

REFORM EFFORTS

Senate Dems Will Push Public Option on Floor

Politico

October 1, 2009

 

Senate Democratic leaders signaled their version of health care overhaul will include some form of a public option, but it may be limited in scope so they can secure 60 votes to break a Republican filibuster.

 

Universal Coverage is Not About the Public Option

The Washington Examiner

October 1, 2009

 

The changes for socialized medicine are better than ever.

 

Follow the Money- Controlling Expenditures by Improving Care for Patients Needing Costly Services

The New England Journal of Medicine

October 1, 2009

 

Some well-researched programs have been shown to reduce costs for patients with complex health care needs, but major payment reform would be needed to spread these programs throughout the United States. 

 

21st-Century Health Care the Case for Integrated Delivery Systems

The New England Journal of Medicine

October 1, 2009

 

Two interacting sets of changes need to occur: movement away from fee-for-service payment of physicians toward prospective payment, and multispecialty integration of physicians combined with hospitals to form new “accountable” systems of care.

 

The Carper One-Pager

Politico

October 2, 2009

 

Full text of the one-page public plan alternative being circulated by Sen. Tom Carper.

 

Republicans Call Health Legislation a Tax Increase

The New York Times

October 2, 2009

 

Republican leaders hoping to derail Mr. Obama’s health care effort have seized on a new line of attack: that the proposed health care overhaul is a vehicle for a barrage of hidden and not-so-hidden tax increases, and a violation of Mr. Obama’s pledge not to raise taxes on families earning less than $250,000 a year.

 

Medical Device Makers Press Senate on Tax

USA Today

October 2, 2009

 

The industry that makes wheelchairs, pacemakers and other medical devices has launched a lobbying blitz to kill a tax on its products proposed in a health care bill moving through the Senate.

 

 

NEW ADMINISTRATION

Pelosi Moves to Center on Public Health Option

The Hill

October 2, 2009

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is shifting to the center on a government-run public health insurance plan, warming to a version that is being supported by some Blue Dog Democrats.

 

EMPLOYERS

Employees Face Big Hike in Health Care Costs

The Washington Post

October 1, 2009

 

Federal government employees can expect a big jump in their health care costs in 2010.

 

 

MISCELLANEOUS

Senator Kennedy’s Legacy to U.S. Health Care

New England Journal of Medicine

October 1, 2009

 

Edward M. Kennedy brought an unswerving devotion to universal access to health care, enhanced education for health professionals, biomedical research and research ethics, and public health. 

Tags: health care reform, Health Policy, Health Policy

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