December 4th, 2009

December 4: Health Care Reform News

By Kelley Luckstein

Johns Hopkins says: Our care isn't too expensive

Jeff Nelligan, a spokesman for Johns Hopkins Medicine, responded to my post (A poor excuse for high Baltimore medical costs) on the comparatively high cost of care at Johns Hopkins Hospital and the University of Maryland Medical Center, as calculated by the Dartmouth Atlas Project. The post referenced a Sunday article in the Sun about the subject and noted that the Mayo Clinic is considered a standard for delivering cost-effective care…

 

Baltimore is vastly different from Rochester, Minn., home of the Mayo clinic. Our surrounding population also differs dramatically from Mayo’s in terms of income, education, disabilities, crime rates and employment status.

 

Baltimore Sun by Jay Hancock (Blog), 12/3/09

 

 

TOP STORIES

Crowded Agenda Dogs Health Bill

The Wall Street Journal

December 4, 2009

 

The Senate's slow-moving health bill is colliding with other legislative priorities on the economy, raising chances that Democrats won't meet their goal of pushing a health care overhaul through the chamber in December.

 

Senate Votes Down GOP Plan to Strip Medicare Cuts from Bill

The Washington Post

December 4, 2009

Senate Republicans lost their first major challenge to a Democratic plan to overhaul the health care system, as the chamber voted Thursday to reject a GOP proposal to strip the package of nearly $500 billion in Medicare cuts, its most important source of financing.

Doctors:  Senate Health Bill Needs Some Surgery

The Wall Street Journal

December 4, 2009

What do doctors think about the Senate’s health bill? It depends which ones you ask.  A handful of letters released this week by medical groups illustrate how divided physicians are over the legislation.

Dems Seeking Compromise on Public Insurance Option

The Washington Post

December 4, 2009

 

Democrats struggle to settle controversies within the party that are standing in the way of passage of health care legislation. The most contentious inner-party battle is a proposal for the government to sell insurance in competition with private companies.

 

Additional Coverage:

Senate Democrats search for Compromise on Potential Show-Stopping Government Insurance Plan - The Chicago Tribune

 

 

TRANSPARENCY/SAFETY

More Minorities Needed in Medicine

The Atlanta-Journal Constitution

December 4, 2009

 

U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin said the nation must reverse the downward trend of minorities attending medical, dental and nursing schools.

 

WELLNESS/CHRONIC CARE

Senate Back Preventive Health Care for Women

The New York Times

December 4, 2009

 

The Senate voted to require health insurance companies to provide free mammograms and other preventive services to women.

 

Additional Coverage:

Women’s Preventative Services Now Part of Senate Reform Bill - Healthleaders Media

 

 

STATE NEWS

No Free Lunch for Doctors, Brought to You by Jersey’s AG

The Wall Street Journal

December 4, 2009

 

A report from the New Jersey Attorney General's office called for state agencies to create new rules that include barring doctors and their office staff from accepting food from drug companies and restrict the sale of "prescriber-identifiable" prescription data for commercial purposes.

 

Partner’s Ends its Year on a High Note

The Boston Globe

December 4, 2009

 

After posting an $18 million deficit through the first nine months of the fiscal year, Massachusetts-based Partners HealthCare reported a $45 million gain for the 2009 fiscal year.

 

REFORM EFFORTS

Senate Democratic Freshman Cost Containment Amendment

December 4, 2009

 

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act addresses the major areas in need of reform, reducing the deficit and expanding health insurance coverage.  Our amendment plants the seeds for an innovative 21st Century health care system that is more efficient, costs less and holds providers and insurers accountable. 

 

Reform or Else

The New York Times - Op-Ed

December 3, 2009

 

America can’t get control of its budget without controlling health care costs and health care reform is our last, best chance to deal with these costs in a rational way.

 

Senate Health Bill Inches Forward

Politico

December 4, 2009

After a three-day impasse, the Senate moved on the first four amendments to the health care legislation Thursday, but the public option, abortion and financing the plan remained serious obstacles to negotiating a final bill.

 

Poll:  Most in U.S.  Want Public Health Option

MSNBC

December 3, 2009

 

Most Americans would like to see a public option in health insurance reform but doubt anything Congress does will lower costs or improve care in the short term, according to a poll released on Thursday.

Tags: health care reform, Health Policy, Health Policy

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