January 6th, 2010

January 5: Health Care Reform News

By Kelley Luckstein

Top stories

 

Health Spending Rises in 2008, but at Slower Rate

The New York Times
Jan. 5, 2010

 

An increase of 4.4 percent is the smallest in 48 years as the recession throttled back the growth of health costs.

 

Related:
Another Way to Look at Those Health-Spending Numbers, The Wall Street Journal

Federal Share of U.S. Health Spending Rises Faster Than Private, BusinessWeek

 

Insurance

 

Health Reform Could Further Erode Retiree Health Benefits

Health Populi
Jan. 4, 2010

 

In Implications of Health Reform for Retiree Health Benefits, the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) details the recent history and impacts of legislation on retiree benefits. Starting with FAS 106, the accounting rule change that passed in 1990, the financial treatment of employer-sponsored benefits negatively impacted access to health benefits for retirees. Health reform in and beyond 2010 could further erode the retiree health benefit.

 

Reform efforts

 

Democrats Likely to Dispense With Conference Committee

The New York Times
Jan. 4, 2010

 

Democratic leaders in Congress plan to merge the House and Senate health care bills without a formal conference committee, aides said.

 

Bills Have Dozens of Topline Differences

Tri-Committee House staff/Politico

Dec. 29, 2009

 

To truly understand the extent of the differences between the House and Senate health care bills, take a look at an 11-page chart compiled by the Tri-Committee House staff.

 

Health Debate Resumes With WH Meet

Politico
Jan. 4, 2010

 

The health care debate resumes in earnest on Tuesday after more than a week of quiet following Senate passage of its landmark bill on Christmas Eve. The four relevant House chairmen will meet with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her leadership team at 1 o'clock in the speaker's Capitol office to start setting the parameters for negotiations with the Senate.

 

IRS Faces Tough New Duties Under Health Overhaul
Kaiser Health News/USA Today
Jan. 4, 2010

Internal Revenue Service agents already try to catch tax cheats and moonshiners. Under the proposed health care legislation, they would get another assignment: checking to see whether Americans have health insurance.

 

Employers

 

Big Three Transfer Retiree Health Care Liabilities

The Wall Street Journal
Jan. 4, 2010

 

Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC officially ended years of uncontrolled retiree healthcare costs by moving those expenses to three funds that will be supervised by the United Auto Workers union.

 

Health Information Technology

 

Meaningful Use Regs Could Create 'Barriers' to Adoption, Industry Groups Say

Fierce Healthcare
Jan. 4, 2010

Now that they've had time to digest the heavily anticipated health information technology rules published Dec. 30, industry groups are expressing concern that the regs will be more of a hindrance than a help.

Tags: health care reform, Health Policy, Health Policy

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