February 15th, 2010

February 12: Health Care Reform News

By Kelley Luckstein

TOP STORIES

Comparative-Effectiveness:  A Simple Health Care Fix Fizzles Out

The Wall Street Journal

February 11, 2010

 

Even before Congress took up the now-stalled health care overhaul, it appropriated $1.1 billion to fund comparative-effectiveness studies. But an examination of one of the best-known examples of a comparative-effectiveness analysis shows how complicated the seemingly straightforward idea can get.

 

Health Reform in Limbo, Top Drug Lobbyist Quits

The New York Times

February 12, 2010

 

Billy Tauzin one of the highest paid lobbyists in Washington, is resigning as president of the pharmaceutical industry’s trade group amid internal disputes over its pact with the White House to trade political support for favorable terms in the proposed health care overhaul.

 

Additional Coverage

PhRMA President Tauzin to Resign - The Wall Street Journal

 

 

INSURANCE

Wellpoint Takes Heat Over Rates

The Wall Street Journal

February 12, 2010

 

The Obama administration is seizing on a big health insurance rate increase by WellPoint Inc. in California as fresh evidence of the need for action.

 

Administration Rejects Health Insurer’s Defense of Huge Rate Increases

The New York Times

February 12, 2010

Kathleen Sebelius declared Anthem Blue Cross’s explanation of a 39 percent increase in premiums as inadequate.

Top Five Insurers Made $12 Billion in Profits Last Year, Dropped 2.7 Million People

Politico

February 12, 2010

 

With health reform floundering, Democrats have renewed their attacks on the insurance industry and a new report out today hopes to bolster their case that insurance company practices need to be reigned in.

 

 

TRANSPARENCY/SAFETY

Sen. Conrad:  Media Focusing on ‘Side Issues’ in Health Debate

The Hill

February 12, 2010

 

Sen. Kent Conrad implored reporters to improve their coverage of the health care debate, which he described as incomplete.

STATE NEWS

VA. House Passes Bill to Defy Health Care Mandate

The Washington Examiner

February 12, 2010

 

Virginia's House of Delegates voted to defy a potential health insurance mandate from Congress; the vote puts the state legislature squarely in opposition to a core provision of congressional Democrats' health care bill.

MEDICARE/MEDICAID

Republicans and Medicare

The New York Times - Op-Ed

February 12, 2010

 

Even as Republicans denounce modest proposals to rein in Medicare's rising costs, they are seeking to dismantle the whole program and the process of dismantling would begin with spending cuts of about $650 billion over the next decade.

 

 

REFORM EFFORTS

Call for Clean Slate on Health Reform Divides U.S.

Reuters

February 12, 2010

 

Americans are deeply divided over demands by U.S. Republicans that bills backed by President Barack Obama to reform the $2.5 trillion health system be scrapped and the whole process be started again from scratch.

 

Can GOP Shine at Health Summit?

Politico

February 12, 2010

 

The nationally televised health care summit gives the GOP a venue to accomplish something it hasn’t been able to do since President Barack Obama took the oath of office: Sell voters on Republican solutions to big problems. 

 

 

HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Obama Administration Makes Grants for Health IT

AP/Yahoo News

February 12, 2010

 

The Obama administration is awarding $975 million in grants to help states and health care providers adopt health information technology.

 

Tags: health care reform, Health Policy, Health Policy

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