November 16th, 2009

November 16: Health Care Reform News

By Kelley Luckstein

Top stories

 

Crusading Professor Challenges Dartmouth Atlas On Claims Of Wasteful Health Care Spending

Kaiser Health News
Nov. 16, 2009

 

A report on Dr. Richard “Buzz” Cooper's contrarian views on the Dartmouth Atlas.

 

Senate Begins Tackling Health Bill

The New York Times

Nov. 16, 2009

 

With a Thanksgiving recess looming, the Senate this week will take steps to open debate on its own health care bill even though it remains unclear whether Senator Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat and majority leader, has the votes to overcome even an initial procedural hurdle.

 

Report: Bill Would Reduce Senior Care

The Washington Post

Nov. 15, 2009

A plan to slash more than $500 billion from future Medicare spending -- one of the biggest sources of funding for President Obama's proposed overhaul of the nation's health-care system -- would sharply reduce benefits for some senior citizens and could jeopardize access to care for millions of others, according to a government evaluation released Saturday.

Drug Makers Raise Prices in Face of Health Care Reform

The New York Times
Nov. 16, 2009

 

Critics say the industry is trying to establish a higher price base before Congress passes legislation that tries to curb drug spending in coming years.

 

Health Bill Foes Solicit Funds for Economic Study

The Washington Post

Nov. 16, 2009

 

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and an assortment of national business groups opposed to President Obama's health-care reform effort are collecting money to finance an economic study that could be used to portray the legislation as a job killer and threat to the nation's economy, according to an e-mail solicitation from a top Chamber official.

 

Insurance

 

Health Insurers Could Be Allowed to Bypass Some Key Reforms

The Washington Post
Nov. 15, 2009

Nobody wants to spend a lot of time and energy -- and taxpayer money -- and end up where they started. But that's what could happen with one of the principal elements of health reform, the "exchange" or "gateway."

Transparency/Safety

 

Study Raises Questions About Cholesterol Drug’s Benefit

The New York Times

Nov. 16, 2009

 

A study shows the heavily marketed Zetia was inferior to an old standby drug, niacin, in reducing buildup in the carotid artery.

 

State news

 

House Health Bill Includes Medicaid Relief for States

The Washington Post

Nov. 16, 2009

Wedged in the House health-care bill is $23.5 billion that looks a lot more like new federal stimulus spending than anything to do with national health-care reform. The barely debated pot of money would allow Congress to continue pumping billions in new short-term aid to states to cover Medicaid costs that have increased with rising unemployment in the past year.

Governor Says Vt. Reforms Could Be Health Care Model

NPR

Nov. 15, 2009

 

An NPR report on health care in Vermont, which includes an interview with the state's Republican governor Jim Douglas, who chairs the National Governors Association. Douglas says Vermont's own state-initiated reforms called Blueprint for Health, which focuses on preventative and coordinated care, could provide a national model.

 

Health Care Reform: Insurance Market Faces Shift in Power

The Chicago Tribune

Nov. 16, 2009

 

Under the healthcare bill passed by the U.S. House, insurance policies largely geared to those without coverage would be offered on an exchange, or insurance marketplace, to help consumers purchase health plans, many using newly created federal subsidies. Legislation before the U.S. Senate would have exchanges regulated at the state level with insurance directors having a say in what policies are sold while monitoring health plan performance and quality. Analysts say proposed legislation should make the products offered more standardized, while giving regulators more say.

 

 

Healthcare Bills Could Jeopardize States' Consumer Protection Laws

The Los Angeles Times

Nov. 16, 2009

 

Healthcare overhaul bills working their way through Congress could jeopardize laws in California and other states that require insurers to pay for treatments such as AIDS testing, second surgical opinions, and reconstructive surgery for breast cancer patients. The federal legislation could also make it virtually impossible for states to enforce other consumer protection laws, such as the right to appeal if an insurer denies coverage for a particular treatment.

 

 

Medicare/Medicaid

 

Govt: Medicare Paid $47 Billion in Suspect Claims

AP/Google News
Nov. 15, 2009

 

The government paid more than $47 billion in questionable Medicare claims including medical treatment showing little relation to a patient's condition, wasting taxpayer dollars at a rate nearly three times the previous year.

 

Reform efforts

 

The Closers

Roll Call

Nov. 16, 2009

 

Roll Call profiles the members of Congress who will matter most in the health care reform endgame.

 

Health Reform's Hidden Land Mines

Politico
Nov. 16, 2009

President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress stand to reap the political rewards if they can pull off health reform, by achieving near-universal coverage, toughening regulations on private insurers and transforming the way health care is delivered. But Democrats have glossed over nagging details of just how limited reform’s reach would be for some Americans.

AP Poll: Fine Print in Health Care Prompts Worries

AP/Google News
Nov. 16, 2009

 

A new AP poll (conducted by Stanford University with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) found that the fine print in health bills worries some Americans.

 

Where Two Contentious Issues Intersect

The Washington Post
Nov. 16, 2009

The question of access to care for some immigrants, and who should pay for it, could well become one of the most contentious sticking points in the coming weeks as members of Congress sit down to reconcile the health-care bill passed by the House on Saturday with the yet-to-emerge Senate version.

In House, Many Spoke With One Voice: Lobbyists’

The New York Times

Nov. 14, 2009

 

The official record of the historic House debate on overhauling healthcare, the speeches of many lawmakers echo with similarities—and that was often no accident. Statements by more than a dozen lawmakers were ghostwritten, in whole or in part, by Washington lobbyists working for Genentech, one of the world's largest biotechnology companies.

 

Health Information Technology

 

Little Benefit Seen, So Far, in Electronic Patient Records

The New York Times

Nov. 16, 2009

 

A new study shows that electronic health records have so far not improved health care quality or cost. The reason may be that the technology is not being fully exploited.

 

Miscellaneous

 

Law Seeks to Ban Misuse of Genetic Testing

The New York Times
Nov. 16, 2009

 

The law would prohibit the use of genetic information in hiring decisions or in determining coverage.

Tags: health care reform, Health Policy, Health Policy

Contact Us · Privacy Policy