October 5th, 2009

October 5: Health Care Reform Coverage

By Kelley Luckstein

Lesson 1: Putting The Patient First Can Cut Wasteful Spending

When Dr. Douglas Wood of the Mayo Clinic saw a patient complaining of chest pain, he sent her for a cardiac angiogram to get more information, and then they sat down together to make an informed decision about what to do next.

 

"We talked about the best options instead of saying, 'Let's do the angioplasty because we can do it now,'" said Wood, the chair of the Division of Health Care Policy and Research at Mayo. "In our circumstance, it doesn't benefit anyone to do another angioplasty." It is, however, a procedure for which Medicare would have reimbursed the clinic thousands of dollars.

 

National Journal by Jason Plautz, 10/5/09

 

Additional Mayo Clinic health care reform coverage:

Galen Institute

Medical News Today

 

 

Top stories

 

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

The New York Times
Oct. 1, 2009

Dr. Cortese 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.

Democrats Wyden, Rockefeller Withhold Support of Panel's Bill
The Washington Post

Oct. 5, 2009

At least two Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee have refused to pledge support for the health-care reform bill scheduled for a vote this week, underscoring the hard work ahead for President Obama as he tries to enact the most ambitious domestic policy legislation in more than a generation.

President Obama Continues Health Care Push Monday

AP/Google
Oct. 5, 2009

 

President Barack Obama meets with doctors from across the country for a morning Rose Garden event on health care.

 

Related: What We Would Have Told Obama

The Wall Street Journal

Oct. 4, 2009

 

In an opinion piece, three former presidents of the AMA share what they would have told President Obama had they been invited to today’s Rose Garden event.

Insurance

 

Discrimination by Insurers Likely Even With Reform, Experts Say

The Washington Post

Oct. 4, 2009

Any health-care overhaul that Congress and President Obama enact is likely to have as its centerpiece a fundamental reform: Insurers would not be allowed to reject individuals or charge them higher premiums based on their medical history. But simply banning medical discrimination would not necessarily remove it from the equation, economists and health-care analysts say.

Health Insurance Bills Could be Hardship for Many

AP/The Washington Post

Oct. 4, 2009

 

Many middle-class Americans would still struggle to pay for health insurance despite efforts by President Barack Obama and Democrats to make coverage more affordable.

 

Will Insurers Balk At Weakening of Individual Insurance Mandate?

Kaiser Health News
Oct. 2, 2009

 

Health insurers have held their fire as Congress debates payment cuts, new fees and taxes and more regulation for their industry. Now the question is: Will they balk – or walk – if lawmakers continue to weaken a requirement that people carry insurance?

 

Medicare/Medicaid

 

States Resist Medicaid Growth

The Washington Post

Oct. 5, 2009

The nation's governors are emerging as a formidable lobbying force as health-care reform moves through Congress and states overburdened by the recession brace for the daunting prospect of providing coverage to millions of low-income residents.

Reform efforts

 

Dem Leader Faces Tough Job in Crafting Health Bill

AP/The Washington Post
Oct. 5, 2009

With the Senate Finance Committee on the verge of approving a sweeping health overhaul bill Tuesday, the path might appear open for action by the full Senate. But not so fast.

Democrats Brace for the Hardest Part of Health-Care Reform
Time Magazine
Oct. 5, 2009

With the passage of health-care-reform legislation out of the Senate Finance Committee expected on Tuesday, the debate moves into a new and delicate stage. It is one that will test the legislative and political skills of Senate majority leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on a scale that no congressional leadership team has had to face in at least four decades.

Medical-Device Makers Push to Cut New Fees in Health Bill

The Wall Street Journal
Oct. 5, 2009

 

Medical-device makers, joining an 11th-hour scramble to influence the shape of health-care legislation in the Senate Finance Committee, have petitioned panel chairman Max Baucus to shave billions of dollars in fees that the industry would face under the measure.

 

Insurance Executive Pay Curbed in Health Bill

The Wall Street Journal
Oct. 2, 2009

 

Senate Democrats, responding to charges that expanding health coverage would enrich insurance companies, voted to limit insurance executives' compensation.

 

Employers

 

Businesses Worry About Health Care Mandates

Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Oct. 4, 2009

Health care legislation under debate in Congress would require employers to offer health insurance - or pay a fee to the government. What do Twin Cities employers think?

Miscellaneous

 

A Quick Trip to the Store for Milk and a Throat Swab

The New York Times
Oct. 4, 2009

 

Medical advice is increasingly available through walk-in clinics at supermarkets, drugstores and big-box discounters, but some caveats are in order.

Tags: health care reform, Health Policy, Health Policy

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