November 18th, 2009

November 18: Health Care Reform News

By Kelley Luckstein

Mayo lobbying tops $740,000

In a year when health care reform has dominated federal politics, Mayo Clinic has ramped up its lobbying efforts,lobbying spending $740,000 as of the third quarter.

 

Compared to last year, Mayo Clinic's spending on lobbying already has jumped nearly 58 percent, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The clinic ranked 13th for spending compared to other organizations within the hospitals/nursing homes industry. Most of the top spenders are large organizations. For instance, the American Hospital Association topped the list with $10.9 million spent. …

 

Mayo Clinic spokesman Chris Gade said lobbying costs have increased this year in part because of health care reform. He said the clinic also lobbies on other issues, including transportation. He said lobbying "is an important element and way for Mayo Clinic to ensure that its voice is heard in the process."

 

Post-Bulletin by Heather Carlson, 11/18/09

 

 

Franken, Klobuchar: Payment reform crucial to reform bill

When it comes to backing the final Senate health care bill, both of Minnesota's senators say payment reform will be key.

 

Sen. Amy Klobuchar said she has made it clear that her support for the bill hinges on it including changes to how providers are reimbursed for medical care…

 

Franken agreed that reforming the Medicare payment system is critical, saying it should reward value rather than volume. Mayo Clinic has been aggressively lobbying for payment reform. "We have a tremendous amount to learn from Mayo," Franken said.

 

"I love that they basically have created a system that rewards outcomes and that doesn't incentivize doctors to perform procedures that aren't needed."

 

Post-Bulletin by Heather Carlson, 11/17/09

 

 

Top stories

 

Healthcare Slipping Behind Schedule

The Hill
Nov. 17, 2009

 

Senate action on healthcare reform before Thanksgiving is in serious jeopardy as the upper chamber still doesn’t have a final version of the bill.

Reid 'Optimistic' About Getting 60 Votes on Health Bill
The Washington Post
Nov. 18, 2009

Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid scrambled Tuesday to lock down votes behind a health-care bill that he may present as early as Wednesday.

3 Democrats Could Block Health Bill in Senate

The New York Times
Nov. 18, 2009

 

The procedural approval needed to begin consideration of a bill in the Senate is looming as anything but routine in the case of health care reform.

 

Economists’ Letter to Obama on Health Care Reform

The New York Times

Nov. 17, 2009

 

Yesterday, a group of 23 prominent economists — including two Nobel laureates as well as previous members of both Democratic and Republican presidential administrations — sent a letter to President Obama about the priorities for health care reform.

 

Transparency/Safety

 

Mammograms and Politics: Task Force Stirs up a Tempest

The Washington Post

Nov. 18, 2009

 

Research and recommendations for breast cancer screening have long been debated.

 

SCHIP

 

Health Overhaul Sparks Debate On Future Of Children's Health Program

Kaiser Health News
Nov. 18, 2009

 

A report on the future of the Children's Health Insurance Program.

 

Medicare/Medicaid

 

In the House, ‘Doc Fix’ Redux

The New York Times
Nov. 17, 2009

 

While the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, works to complete his version of health care legislation, the House this week will return to the issue of averting steep cuts in Medicare payment rates to doctors.

 

Doctors Fear Reform Angst Is Tainting Medicare Payment 'Fix'

Kaiser Health News
Nov. 17, 2009

 

Dr. Nancy Nielsen, the immediate past president of the American Medical Association, urged lawmakers Tuesday to permanently eliminate the looming cuts to Medicare's physician payments – something her organization has demanded for years. The combination of a deepening budget crisis, Democrats' plans to enact sweeping health reform and troves of baby-boomers approaching Medicare age will make the problem harder to resolve in the future, she said during a conference call.

 

Reform efforts

Long-Term Care Plan to Be in Bill
The Wall Street Journal
Nov. 18, 2009

The Senate's sweeping health bill is expected to call for a new long-term-care insurance program as Democrats move closer to unveiling the legislation.

How to Pass a Health Bill Fast

Politico
Nov. 18, 2009

 

With the president's year-end deadline for health care reform looming, congressional Democrats know they'll almost certainly have to short-circuit the legislative process to get the bill done.

 

Employers

 

Small Firms Scrapping, Scaling Back Health Plans

The Washington Post

Nov. 18, 2009

 

Across the country, businesses already strapped by the economy to turn a profit are sacrificing or scaling back employee health insurance plans because of their escalating costs. The crunch has particularly socked smaller employers, who have become a centerpiece in the debate over how to overhaul the nation's health care system.

 

Miscellaneous

 

Germany Strains to Fund Health Care for All

The Wall Street Journal

Nov. 18, 2009

 

Germany's century-old universal health-care system is buckling under the weight of a growing deficit that has forced the government to explore an overhaul.

Tags: health care reform, Health Policy, Health Policy

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