December 22: Health Care Reform News

Posted on December 22nd, 2009 by Kelley Luckstein

Political Notebook: Health overhaul keeps Congress in session

This week promises to be a busy one on Capitol Hill as Senate Democrats move ahead with plans to pass a health care reform bill before Christmas.

 

During the weekend, Democrats announced they had secured the 60 votes needed to block a Republican filibuster of the bill. But getting those votes meant getting rid of a public, government-run option - a proposal favored by liberals.

 

They also nixed a proposed Medicare buy-in for adults age 55 to 64. Mayo Clinic has been vocal in its opposition to such a buy-in, arguing it would do nothing to fix the flawed payment system that rewards quantity over quality care. The clinic also stood to lose an extra $600 million as a result of the proposal.

 

 

Post-Bulletin by Heather Carlson, 12/21/09

 

Additional Mayo Clinic health care reform mentions:

The Minnesota Independent

 

TOP STORIES

Senators Ready to Cast Second of Three Votes on Health Care Bill

The Washington Post

December 22, 2009

 

Senators prepared to cast the second of three procedural votes early Tuesday to end the health care debate, but Republicans showed little indication that they were ready to relent.

 

Congress Would Do Well to Keep Two Key Provisions in Senate Health Care Bill

The Washington Post - Op-Ed

December 22, 2009

No one should contemplate without concern a vast new entitlement program when the federal debt has ballooned so dangerously - an entitlement program paid in large part with $500 billion in Medicare cuts to health care providers. 

ObamaCare’s Longshoremen Rules

The Wall Street Journal - Op-Ed

December 22, 2009

Cost control and taxes for some is enormously important, except in the places where health costs need the most control.

Dean Faults White House for Death of the Public Insurance Option

The Hill

December 22, 2009

 

Liberal activists, Howard Dean, and even Sen. Russ Feingold have begun to focus blame on President Barack Obama, faulting him for never having thrown the full weight of the White House behind the controversial insurance option.

 

INSURANCE

Forcing Insurers to Spend Enough on Health Care

Time

December 22, 2009

 

Jay Rockefeller’s way to keep insurer profit margins within reason: setting strict minimums on what proportion of premiums must be spent on health care.

Seeing Public Subsidy (Not Public Option) Investors Flock to Health Insurers

The Huffington Post

December 22, 2009

 

Investors are seeing the Senate's version of health care reform as a massive public subsidy for insurance companies and as a result, are sending the sector's stock prices shooting up.

 

 

TRANSPARENCY/SAFETY

Implications of Health Reform for Retiree Benefits

Employee Benefit Research Institute

December 21, 2009

 

An examination of how current health reform legislation being debated in Congress will impact the future of retiree health benefits.

 

Senators Overseeing Health Bill Debate Get Dose of PAC Money

USA Today

December 22, 2009

 

Records show, as the health care bill moves toward a critical vote in the Senate, the five senators charged with overseeing the floor debate count health interests among their biggest campaign contributors.

 

 

WELLNESS/CHRONIC CARE

Both Sides Question Health Bill’s Abortion Compromise

The Washington Post

December 22, 2009

 

The abortion language that was added to the Senate's health care bill to win the vote of Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) has achieved a rare feat: It is drawing contempt from both sides.

 

Additional Coverage:

Democrats Face Challenge in Merging Health Bills -The New York Times

 

 

STATE NEWS

Health Care Amendment Becomes a Feather in Franken’s Cap

The Star Tribune

December 22, 2009

An amendment to the Senate health bill would change the way a lot of insurers do business - but not in Minnesota.

 

MEDICARE/MEDICAID

Medicare Changes, ‘Cadillac’ Tax Complicate Debt Picture

Politico

December 22, 2009

 

So many dollars come out of Medicare that it will be harder for lawmakers to go back to that well next year, then any future deficit-reduction commission will feel pressure to look for savings from Social Security.

 

 

REFORM EFFORTS

Health Care Vote Means Senators Will Spend Christmas Eve at the Capitol

The Washington Post

December 22, 2009

 

It’s the bill that stole Christmas.

 

A Bill Well Worth Passing

The New York Times - Op-Ed

December 22, 2009

 

The United States Senate still has a chance this week to get past the bickering and haggling that have robbed it of Americans’ trust and pass a historic piece of legislation.

 

Republicans Take Aim at Deal Making

The Wall Street Journal

December 22, 2009

 

Republicans are slamming the provisions Democrats inserted in their far-reaching health care overhaul bill at the last minute to win over individual senators.

 

Public Option Tensions Linger

Politico

December 22, 2009

 

Just hours after a critical Monday morning vote in the Senate, Democrats were already talking about future changes to the health reform effort in hopes of calming a revolt among liberal activists.

 

Cosmetic Surgeons Get Reid to Tax Tanning Salons Instead

The Wall Street Journal

December 22, 2009

 

Doctors were able to surgically remove the so-called Botax from the Senate's health care overhaul bill and replace it with a 10% tax on tanning services.

 

Don’t Kill the Bill

The Republic - Op-Ed

December 22, 2009

 

Prominent, reliable liberals like Sherrod Brown, Paul Krugman, Bernie Sanders, and Andy Stern all think the bill needs to pass.

 

Emanuel Tests Limits of His Persuasion in Health Care Overhaul

Bloomberg Report

December 17, 2009

 

While President Barack Obama has kept his distance from the legislative maneuvering over health care, Rahm Emanual has been nudging the process at critical points, corralling powerful interests and coaxing members of Congress, said lobbyists, labor leaders, lawmakers and congressional staff.

 

 

HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Consumers Likely to Use Health Via Internet and Phone

Health Populi

December 18, 2009

 

The more patients are armed with health care information and easy/fun-to-use tools, the greater the engagement and commitment to whole health will be.

 

Tags: health care reform, health care reform news, Health Policy

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