December 21: Health Care Reform News

Posted on December 21st, 2009 by Kelley Luckstein

A way to deliver health care that's better, safer and cheaper

The health-care debate in the Senate has, thankfully, returned to the paramount issue of cost.

 

Unfortunately, the most obvious, time-tested and feasible approach to providing high-quality care at reasonable cost remains excluded from consideration.

 

The irony is that President Obama and a number of legislators have lauded the work of approximately 30 health-care organizations, caring for about 6 percent of the population, that for decades have provided care reliably better than average at lower cost. These are the "group employed models," or GEMs…the Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic -- have been ranked among U.S. News and World Report's top five hospitals in the country.

 

Washington Post by Henry Weil, 12/18/09

 

TOP STORIES

Health Bill Passes Key Test in the Senate with 60 Votes

The New York Times

December 21, 2009

 

The vote was 60-40 and both parties hailed the vote as seismic.  Democrats said it showed them poised to reshape the health system after decades of failed attempts.

 

Additional Coverage
Historic Health Vote Looms - The Wall Street Journal

Health Care Bill Clears Crucial Vote in Senate - 60-40 - The Washington Post

Health Care Bill Moves Closer to Passage - USA Today

Senate Health Care Bill Clears Major Hurdle - The Huffington Post

Senate Advances Landmark Health Bill - Politico

 

 

INSURANCE

Tax Exemption in Compromise a Bright Spot for Insurers

The Wall Street Journal

December 21, 2009

 

A compromise on the health care overhaul the Senate reached this weekend offered some relief for insurance companies, specifically for nonprofits that could win exemption from a new $6.7 billion tax.

 

 

TRANSPARENCY/SAFETY

Payoffs for States Get Harry Reid to 60 Votes

Politico

December 21, 2009

 

What type of deals took place in order to reach the 60 votes the Senate needed?

 

CBO:  Revised Senate Reform Bill Will Cost $23B More than Previous Plan

Healthleaders Media

December 21, 2009

 

The CBO, in its newest estimates on the Senate health care reform bill, said gross cost would be roughly $23 billion higher ($871 billion) over the next 10 years with the new manager's amendments, compared to the $848 billion attached to the original bill presented last month.

 

GOP Pounces on COB Correction - Politico

Politico

December 21, 2009

 

The Congressional Budget Office issued additional information and a correction of its cost estimates today that have Senate Republicans calling for Democrats to slow action on the health reform bill to give officials a chance to digest the data.

 

So What School Will that $100 Million Go To?

Politico

December 21, 2009

Democrats have inserted a provision in the manager's amendment that would provide a public university with a medical and dental school $100 million for construction or debt service - but Democrats aren't saying what school that $100 million will go to.

Majority of Young Adults Support Health Reform

The Commonwealth Fund

December 18, 2009

 

88 percent of young adults across the political spectrum think it is important to pass health reform legislation that would assure affordable health insurance for all and improve health care.

 

 

MEDICARE/MEDICAID

Deep in Health Bill, Very Specific Beneficiaries

The New York Times

December 21, 2009

 

Buried in the deal-clinching health care package passed by Senate Democrats is an inconspicuous proposal expanding Medicare to cover certain victims of “environmental health hazards.”

 

 

REFORM EFFORTS

A Dangerous Dysfunction

The New York Times - Op-Ed

December 21, 2009

 

Count me among those who consider the Senate’s health care bill an awesome achievement. It’s a seriously flawed bill, we’ll spend years if not decades fixing it, but it’s nonetheless a huge step forward.

 

Change Nobody Believes In

The Wall Street Journal - Op-Ed

December 21, 2009

 

The Senate Majority Leader has the 60 votes needed to jump off the cliff with one-seventh of the economy in tow.

 

An Ugly Finale for Health Care Reform

The Washington Post - Op-Ed

December 21, 2009

 

Democrats have finally - after jettisoning any trace of government-run health care while swallowing new abortion restrictions - found their way to success; the overnight vote proves they have the numbers to prevail in the remaining votes this week. But it certainly wasn't pretty.

 

 

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS

Axelrod Promises to Push for Drug Re-Importation after Health Care Reform

The Hill

December 21, 2009

 

Speaking on CNN’s "State of the Union," David Axelrod, Obama’s top political aide, said the White House still favors drug re-importation and wants to move forward on it.

 

 

NEW ADMINISTRATION

Democrats Pin 2010 Hopes on Bill

The Wall Street Journal

December 21, 2009

 

Slumping in the polls and struggling to pass climate and financial legislation, President Barack Obama and Democratic leaders are counting on an historic health care victory to buoy their electoral prospects in 2010.

 

Tags: Health Policy

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