December 2nd, 2009

December 2: Health Care Reform News

By Kelley Luckstein

Top stories

 

Senators Express Hope for a Health Reform Bill

The Washington Post

Dec. 2, 2009

 

Senators prepared to cast their first votes Wednesday on health-care reform, but even as partisan divisions hardened and contentious amendments stacked up, Democrats increasingly expressed optimism that they would succeed in passing a bill before Christmas.

 

Tempers Flare as Senate Debates Health Care

AP/The Washington Post

Dec. 2, 2009

 

A Republican senator asserted Tuesday during a rancorous floor debate that President Barack Obama's health care overhaul will shorten the lives of America's seniors by cutting Medicare.

 

Reid Set to Unveil New Public Option, Breaking Senate Impasse on Healthcare

The Hill
Dec. 1, 2009

 

A new measure on the public option will be unveiled next week, which Senate Democratic leaders hope will break the logjam on healthcare reform.

 

Panel Finds Regional Differences in Use of Medical Care

The New York Times
Dec. 1, 2009

 

A federal advisory panel said Tuesday that regional differences in the use of health care services were substantial but smaller than many experts had suggested. Click here to read the new MedPAC report (PDF).

 

Transparency/Safety

 

Safety Guru: ‘Health IT Is Harder Than It Looks’

The Wall Street Journal

Dec. 1, 2009

 

Health IT systems done right can help improve patient safety. But health IT systems done wrong can actually create new safety risks, a doctor and patient-safety expert says in a new article published by the journal Health Affairs.

 

Wellness/Chronic Care

 

Medco and Coventry Plan Preventive Care Study

The Washington Post
Dec. 1, 2009

 

Medco Health Solutions Inc. and Coventry Health Care Inc. said Tuesday they will work together to see if they can reduce health care costs for senior citizens by addressing factors like home safety, diet and medication use.

 

State news

 

TN Health Insurance Plans Stop Enrolling Needy

The Tennessean
Dec. 2, 2009

 

As state funds run dry, Tennessee has cut off enrollment for two health insurance programs for low-income people, leaving the state at risk of a crisis, advocates say

 

Reform efforts

 

Not HHS Secretary, but in Health Care Fight Anyway
AP/The Washington Post
Dec. 2, 2009

 

A look at Tom Daschle’s ongoing role in health care reform.

Related: Daschle Draws Health Care Fire, Politico

 

Senators Pitch to Women and Elderly on Health Bill

The New York Times
Dec. 1, 2009

 

In a day of desultory debate on sweeping health care legislation, senators appealed to two potent political constituencies on Tuesday, with Democrats seeking additional medical benefits for women and Republicans vowing to preserve and protect Medicare for older Americans.

 

Centrists Pleased With Health Cost Projection

The Hill
Dec. 1, 2009

 

The CBO-JCT report has sparked a partisan spin war, with Republicans blasting Reid’s bill for hiking premiums for some and Democrats pointing to the bill’s benefits to most people.

 

New Hopes on Health Care for American Indians
The New York Times
Dec. 1, 2009

 

The health care overhaul now being debated in Congress appears poised to bring the most significant improvements to the Indian health system in decades.

 

Health Bill Would Impact Food, Drug Industries

NPR
Dec. 1, 2009

 

The health insurance system isn't the only thing getting revamped should Congress pass a health bill; both the Senate and the House bills include provisions that might mean big changes for the food, drug and medical devices industries.

 

Prescription drugs

 

Reform Cost for Pharma May Be Higher

Reuters
Dec. 1, 2009

 

The price tag for drug makers to help pay for healthcare reform efforts may be higher than the $80 billion deal the industry originally made with Democratic senators and the White House, the head of the Senate's finance panel said on Tuesday.

 

Health Information Technology

 

Blue Cross Workers Try Out Health Care in a Virtual Clinic

The Pioneer Press

Dec. 1, 2009

 

Minnesota's first virtual doctor's visit was conducted Monday evening.

 

CCHIT Certifies First EHR Programs Under Federal Standards

HealthLeaders Media
Dec. 1, 2009

 

The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology today announced the first group of four electronic health records programs certified under its two programs—CCHIT Certified 2011 Comprehensive and Preliminary ARRA 2011.

Tags: health care reform, Health Policy, Health Policy

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