February 16: Health Care Reform News

Posted on February 16th, 2010 by Kelley Luckstein

Pawlenty Takes the Obama Health Care Challenge

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: President Obama issued a challenge and Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty is taking him on! The president wants Republicans to bring ideas to the February 25th bipartisan health care summit. Governor Pawlenty has some ideas. He joins us live. Good evening, Governor.

 

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, let me ask you worst-case scenario -- two people walk in, one has a cancer that responds to chemotherapy, one has a cancer that does not. If we look for sort of results, the one who has a cancer that's sort of -- or doesn't respond very well to chemotherapy -- is that person going to get treatment? …

 

PAWLENTY: Well, what we've done in Minnesota through a program called Q-Care, Greta, is to say this. We know what the hoped-for outcomes are in the treatments of diabetes. We're able to benchmark against places like the Mayo Clinic. There's not much argument about whether those are world- class standards or best treatment standards. And we still pay providers if they have unfortunate outcomes or average outcomes. But we pay them more if they have better outcomes, so it's a bonus system. And it's working.

 

FOX News, On the Record with Greta, 2/16/2010

 

Top stories

 

Excise Tax Loses Support Amid White House Push

The New York Times

Feb. 16, 2010

 

An agreement to tax high-cost, employer-sponsored health insurance plans, announced with fanfare by the White House and labor unions last month, is losing support from labor leaders, who say the proposal is too high a price to pay for the limited health care package they expect to emerge from Congress.

 

In California, Exhibit A in Debate on Insurance

The New York Times
Feb. 15, 2010

 

With the health care debate stalled, the White House has seized on fury about an insurer’s planned rate increases.

 

State news

 

MN: Cuts Would Fall on Poor, Old, Disabled and Sick

Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Feb 15, 2010

 

Gov. Tim Pawlenty's proposal to cut a net of $347 million from programs for sick, aged, disabled and jobless people is akin to the advice an ailing George Washington got from his doctors 210 years ago, one critic said Monday: Bleed him, in hope of a cure.

 

A Plan to Help Places Hurting for Doctors

The Detroit Free Press

Feb. 16, 2010

 

With a statewide shortage of primary care doctors, particularly in urban areas such as Detroit, Michigan has launched a program that offers grants to primary care doctors who work in shortage areas and help to repay medical school loans.

 

Proposed Bill Wants Medical Mishaps To Be Reported By State Hospitals

The Hartford Courant
Feb. 16, 2010

 

All medical mishaps reported by Connecticut hospitals would again be made public under legislation to be considered this session by the public health committee.

 

Medicare/Medicaid

 

The Health Reform That Scares Both Parties

Kaiser Health News

Feb. 16, 2010

 

A look back twenty-seven years ago, to when President Ronald Reagan and a Congress split between Republican and Democratic control agreed to a radical new payment scheme for Medicare. The resulting legislation trimmed billions of dollars from the federal budget and caused medical inflation to plummet, yet still maintained quality of care. Although this led to a permanent change in how both the public and private sector pay for health care, it has gone curiously unmentioned during the health reform debate.

 

Reform efforts

 

Will Health Care Savings Be Used To Reduce The Deficit?

Kaiser Health News
Feb. 16, 2010

 

In their effort to overhaul the health system, President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats pressed hospitals, drug makers and other providers to accept billions of dollars in government payment cuts and new fees to help finance the legislation. But now, if the legislation fails, those savings, primarily cutbacks in Medicare and Medicaid, might end up being used for something far different: reducing the federal deficit.

 

Individual Mandate: A Sticking Point in the Healthcare Debate

The Los Angeles Times
Feb. 15, 2010

 

Is forcing people to have insurance a useful strategy to spread the costs, or an ill-conceived notion that would only exacerbate the problem? Linda Blumberg, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute, and Glen Whitman, an economist at Cal State Northridge, weigh in.

Both Sides Push Health-Debate Myths
Politico
Feb. 16, 2010

Ahead of next week’s White House summit on health care, both parties are pressing story lines on how the reform debate has played out that aren’t as tidy or truthful as Democrats and Republicans would like voters to believe.

How Bayh's Retirement Could Make It Harder for Dems to Pass a Health Care Bill

The American Spectator

Feb. 15, 2010

 

One of the many implications Sen. Evan Bayh's retirement could have is to make it even more difficult for Democrats to pass comprehensive health care legislation.

 

Trial Lawyers to Obama: Don’t Deal on Tort Reform in Healthcare Negotiations

The Hill

Feb. 14, 2010

 

President Barack Obama wants a bipartisan deal on health reform, but trial lawyers don’t want him to deal on a top Republican priority: tort reform.

 

What Caring for Immigrants Costs

The New York Times
Feb. 11, 2010

 

A new study published online in the journal Health Affairs suggests that, contrary to popular perception, immigrants actually cost the health care system less per person than do natives of the United States. Nor do illegal immigrants make up a disproportionate share of the costs to public programs like Medicaid, researchers found. Click here to read the study in Health Affairs.

Tags: health care reform, Health Policy, Health Policy

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