January 12: Health Care Reform News

Posted on January 13th, 2010 by Kelley Luckstein

TOP STORIES

Democrats Weigh New Tax on Investment Income

The Wall Street Journal

January 12, 2010

 

House and Senate negotiators are considering applying for the first time the Medicare payroll tax to investment income as part of a compromise to pay for a health overhaul.

 

Obama Meets with Union Leaders to Discuss Health Reform

The Washington Post

January 12, 2010

President Obama sought to assuage organized labor's misgivings about the health care overhaul, even as several key union leaders warned that the bill's final outlines could severely dampen their enthusiasm for the Democratic ticket in this year's elections.

Analysts Question Savings, Revenue in Health Care Bill

USA Today

January 12, 2010

 

As Democratic leaders continue talks this week over how to pay for health care legislation, they are coming under renewed pressure from independent analysts who question whether long-term savings called for in the bill are realistic.

 

House Reform Bill Would Decrease Uninsured by 24 Million:  RAND Study

Healthleaders Media

January 12, 2010

 

By 2019, 24 million fewer people would be uninsured if the House version of the health reform bill is retained in final legislation, and those still left out of coverage will be younger, healthier, and wealthier than if changes don't occur.

 

INSURANCE

President Signals Flexibility on Health Plan Tax

The New York Times

January 12, 2010

President Obama told union leaders he remained committed to taxing high-cost insurance policies as a way to drive down health costs; but he also signaled that he was willing to amend the proposal to “make this work for working families”.

Additional Coverage

Will President Obama Defend the ‘Cadillac Tax’ to Cut Health Care Costs? - The Washington Post - Op-Ed

Excise Tax on ‘Cadillac Health Care Plans’ a Bad Idea - The Washington Post - Op-Ed

 

 

TRANSPARENCY/SAFETY

Three Areas Where Quality Could Save Costs in Health Reform

Healthleaders Media

January 12, 2010

Will achieving quality health care at lower cost still be possible? The answer is yes—in some areas.

 

WELLNESS/CHRONIC CARE

For Severely Ill Children, a Dearth of Doctors

The Wall Street Journal

January 12, 2010

 

A growing shortage of pediatricians trained in specialties such as neurology, gastroenterology, and developmental and behavioral medicine is threatening timely access to care for children, according to pediatric medical groups

 

New Breast Screening Limits Face Reversal

The Wall Street Journal

January 12, 2010

 

In November, the federally funded U.S. Preventive Services Task Force said routine mammograms weren't necessary for women in their 40s who have normal cancer risk. But in the Senate, lawmakers have approved an amendment to its health-overhaul bill that effectively nullified the new guidelines and promised mammogram coverage for women starting at age 40.

 

STATE NEWS

Twin Cities Hospitals Staunching Flow of Red Ink

Star Tribune

January 12, 2010

 

After a year of cutting jobs, freezing pay, and delaying new construction, hospitals in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area turned their businesses around in 2009 and appear to be back in the black.

 

Connecticut Regulators Approve Double-Digit Health Insurance Increases

The Courant

January 12, 2010

 

Three of the top five insurers in Connecticut have received regulatory approval to raise their rates by double-digit percentages for 2010.

 

High Costs are Due to Local Issues, Partners Says

The Boston Globe

January 12, 2010

 

David McGuire, Partners vice president for system contracting, told Division of Insurance officials that rising insurance costs are a national phenomenon, not solely a state problem caused by higher reimbursement rates paid by insurers to Partners hospitals.

 

MEDICARE/MEDICAID

$222 Billion, Ho Hum

The Wall Street Journal - Op-Ed

January 12, 2010

 

Richard Foster, chief actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, reports national health spending will rise under the bills by $222 billion over the next 10 years.

 

REFORM EFFORTS

Dems Stiffen Spines on Health Bill

Politico

January 12, 2010

 

Through what is expected to be multiple near-death experiences for the health care bill in coming weeks, White House and congressional leaders plan to beat back the temptation of “no” with a hardball argument:

NEW ADMINISTRATION

Poll Numbers Still Not Good for Obama

CBS News Poll

January 12, 2010

 

President Barack Obama’s job approval rating has fallen to its lowest level yet in CBS News Polls, and for the first time is below the 50% mark.

 

HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Denmark Leads the Way in Digital Care

The New York Times

January 12, 2010

 

Denmark began embracing electronic health records and other health care information technology a decade ago. Today, virtually all primary care physicians and nearly half of the hospitals use electronic records, and officials are trying to encourage more telemedicine projects.

 

Tags: health care reform, Health Policy, Health Policy

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