November 17th, 2009

November 17: Health Care Reform News

By Kelley Luckstein

Top stories

 

Time Crunch Looms for Health Bill

The Wall Street Journal
Nov. 17, 2009

 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is pressing to advance his version of health-care legislation past a key juncture this week in a bid to avoid a timing crunch that could otherwise kick the proposed revamp into next year.

 

Road Map: Reid’s Health Bill Push May Spell Weekend Work 

Roll Call
Nov. 17, 2009

 

If you’ve got a dog in the health care reform fight, you might want to keep this weekend open for another nail-biter vote — this time in the Senate.

Poll: Deep Divisions Linger on Health Care
The Washington Post
Nov. 17, 2009

As the Senate prepares to take up legislation aimed at overhauling the nation's health-care system, President Obama and the Democrats are still struggling to win the battle for public opinion. A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows Americans deeply divided over the proposals under consideration and majorities predicting higher costs ahead.

Liberals Urge Reid to Keep Public Option

The New York Times

Nov. 16, 2009

The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, met on Monday night with a group of liberal Senate Democrats who urged him not to back down from his decision to put a government-run insurance plan, or public option, in the major health care legislation that he is working to complete.

White House Healthcare Accord with Drug Industry May be Going Sour

The Los Angeles Times
Nov. 17, 2009

 

Congressional Democrats' intensifying efforts to pay for their healthcare overhaul and provide more relief for consumers are threatening to unravel a White House deal with the pharmaceutical industry and turn one of Washington's most powerful lobbies against the legislation.

 

Transparency/Safety

 

Breast Exam Guidelines Now Call for Less Testing

The Washington Post
Nov. 17, 2009

 

Women in their 40s should halt annual mammograms unless there are other risk factors, older women should cut back to one exam every other year, task force says.

 

New Guidelines on Breast Cancer Draw Opposition

The New York Times

Nov. 17, 2009

 

Many women are confused about new federal recommendations to scale back routine breast cancer screening.

 

Study: Injured Uninsured More Likely to Die in ER

The Denver Post
Nov. 17, 2009

 

Uninsured patients with traumatic injuries, such as car crashes, falls and gunshot wounds, were almost twice as likely to die in the hospital as similarly injured patients with health insurance, according to a troubling new study. The findings by Harvard University researchers surprised doctors and health experts who have believed emergency room care was equitable.

 

Wellness/Chronic Care

 

The Virtual Doctor Visit

Kaiser Health News/The Washington Post

Nov. 17, 2009

 

New technology is helping elderly patients and those with chronic diseases monitor their condition from the comfort of home.

 

Study Projects Increase in Obesity and Its Costs

The New York Times
Nov. 17, 2009

While Congress searches for ways to slow the growth of health care spending, a new study suggests that its efforts may be overwhelmed by the surging prevalence of obesity.

Why This Wisconsin City Is The Best Place To Die

NPR
Nov. 16, 2009

 

Nearly all adults who die in La Crosse, Wis., 96 percent of them, die with a completed advance directive.

 

State news

 

Health Care Reform: Insurance Market Faces Shift in Power

The Chicago Tribune

Nov. 16, 2009

 

Under healthcare bills making their way through Congress. state insurance directors would be given unprecedented powers in helping to decide the benefits and cost of health plans for the proposed government-regulated insurance exchange.

 

Basic Health Wait List Will Soon Surpass Enrollees

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Nov. 16, 2009

 

In a grim reflection of local economic hard times, the number of people on the wait list for the state's Basic Health plan is expected to surpass, for the first time ever, the number of people actually enrolled.

 

Medicare/Medicaid

 

Permanent 'Doc Fix' Unlikely

Politico
Nov. 17, 2009

 

The House is expected to pass a bill later this week to permanently plug a long-standing shortfall in Medicare payments to doctors — the AMA’s top legislative priority. But prospects for the bill look dim, since the Senate blocked consideration of a similar measure late last month, and House leaders stripped the proposal from their broader health reform package.

 

Reform efforts

 

AP Poll: Tax the Rich to Pay for Health Bill

AP/The Washington Post
Nov. 17, 2009

 

When it comes to paying for health overhaul, Americans see just one way to go: Tax the rich.

 

Reid Considers Raising Medicare Tax for High Earners

The Los Angeles Times
Nov. 17, 2009

 

Pressing to begin the Senate's landmark floor debate on healthcare legislation this week—and to finish by the end of the year—Majority Leader Harry Reid is considering new ways to fund the bill by raising the payroll taxes that upper-income workers pay for Medicare.

 

Business Foes of Health Care Revamp Ramp-Up Effort

AP/The Washington Post

Nov. 17, 2009

 

Business foes of health care overhaul legislation are outspending supporters at a rate of 2-to-1 for TV ads as they grow increasingly nervous over a final bill.

 

Capital in Suspense as Budget Director Crunches Numbers

The New York Times

Nov. 17, 2009

 

Profile of Doulas W. Elmendorf.

 

A Centrist in Health-Care Debate, Lincoln Hears it From All Sides

The Washington Post
Nov. 17, 2009

 

When the Senate begins floor debate on a health-care reform package this week, the outcome is almost certain to rest on decisions made by a handful of moderate Democrats

 

None of those Democrats is feeling the heat as intensely as Sen. Blanche Lincoln (Ark.), who has become emblematic of the improbable distance that health-care reform has traveled, and how far it still must go before becoming law.

 

Employers

 

Access to Health Insurance at Small Establishments: What Can We Learn from Analyzing Other Fringe Benefits?

The Commonwealth Fund
Nov. 9, 2009

 

Just as workers employed by small businesses are less likely than those in large ones to be offered fringe benefits like pension plans, paid sick leave, and paid vacations, they are also less likely to be offered health insurance. Administrative costs—and not insurance market flaws—are likely the major reason why so many smaller firms do not offer health benefits to their employees.

 

Miscellaneous

 

Retail Medical Clinics: Update and Implications

Deloitte Consulting
Nov. 13, 2009

 

What is the status of retail medicine today? What is ahead? Retail Clinics: Update and Implications, a new study by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, addresses these important questions, updates the Center's 2008 report on this emergent innovation and discusses implications for the future.

Tags: health care reform, Health Policy, Health Policy

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