March 5th, 2010

March 5: Health Care Reform News

By Kelley Luckstein

Sens. Durbin & Barrasso Debate Health Care

BLITZER: The president's bill and his support of that simple majority vote is infuriating Republicans. Joining us now two senators -- Senator Dick Durbin and Senator John Barrasso. Guys, thanks very much for joining us. Both of you attended that Blair House Summit with the president last week…

 

BARRASSO: The Mayo Clinic won't see Medicaid patients. The Mayo Clinic won't see them. They say we can't afford to stay open with Medicaid rates.

 

DURBIN: Millions of Americans receive medical care through Medicaid. Many of those will be covered by this bill are walking into the hospitals with no insurance and no payment whatsoever. My hospital administrators in Springfield, Illinois, say, we would welcome Medicaid reimbursement from people who are paying nothing.

 

Real Clear Politics, 3/3/2010

 

TOP STORIES

Obama Takes Health Care Deadlines to Democrats

The New York Times

March 5, 2010

 

Mr. Obama's press secretary, Robert Gibbs, told reporters the president expected the House to complete its work on the health reform bill by March 18.

 

For Many House Democrats, Cost is a Concern

The New York Times

March 5, 2010

 

The Congressional Budget Office has yet to produce an analysis of the latest costs associated with the Democratic bill and Republicans are stepping up their criticism of the Democrats’ legislation as being insufficient to control rising costs.

 

 

INSURANCE

White House Confronts Insurers on Premiums

The Wall Street Journal

March 5, 2010

 

The government's top health official summoned health insurance chief executives to the White House Thursday and told them they need to disclose more data justifying sharp premium increases.

 

Obama Intensified Health Care Efforts

The Washington Post

March 5, 2010

The president made a surprise visit to insurance company chief executives, brandishing a letter from a cancer patient as he admonished them about what he has called excessive rate increases.

 

TRANSPARENCY/SAFETY

Onward with Obamacare Regardless

The Washington Post

March 5, 2010

 

The man who ran as a post-partisan is determined to remake a sixth of the U.S. economy despite the absence of support from a single Republican in either house.

 

The Doctor’s Failure to Cut Costs

The New York Times

March 5, 2010

 

The medical profession, unlike other groups, has made little effort to curtail future medical costs; physicians are not innocent bystanders to spiraling health care costs but have been complicit in their failure to take an active role in curtailing them.

 

 

WELLNESS/CHRONIC CARE

Foundation Awards Grants for IT Projects on Chronic Disease Care

iHealth Beat

March 5, 2010

 

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation announced it gave more than $2.4 million to help five research teams participate in a two-year demonstration project to test how personal health records and other technologies can capture data for use in chronic disease care.

 

 

STATE NEWS

Suit Filed Over End of General Assistance Medical Care in Minnesota

The Star Tribune

March 5, 2010

 

Legal Aid has joined the struggle over General Assistance Medical Care, a health insurance program for the poorest Minnesotans, with a lawsuit that seeks to stop Gov. Tim Pawlenty from ending the program April 1.

 

State Polls Show Gathering Storm

Politico

March 5, 2010

According to a POLITICO review of publicly available polling data, numerous state legislatures are showing off-the charts disapproval ratings accompanied by stunning levels of voter cynicism all adding up to a toxic election year brew for legislators inside and outside Washington.

 

MEDICARE/MEDICAID

McCain Bill Making Medicare Untouchable Via Reconciliation Contradicts His Record

The Huffington Post

March 5, 2010

 

In a direct challenge to Democratic leadership, Sen. John McCain introduced an amendment on Thursday night that would prohibit Congress from using reconciliation to make changes to Medicare.

 

Medicare Backlash:  A Primary Care Doctor Lays Out His Costs

CNN Money

March 5, 2010

 

With a 21 percent cut in Medicare payments slated to take effect later this month, physicians who say they are making an OK living may be reduced to income levels that no longer make their profession viable.

 

$4 Billion in Fraudulent Medicare Charges Found in 2009

Healthleaders Media

March 5, 2010

$4 billion in fraudulent Medicare charges is just the tip of the iceberg - more disturbing, as health care expenditures continue to rise, the financial impact of health care fraud will continue to increase.

 

REFORM EFFORTS

Pressure Mounts For/Against Health Care Bill

The Los Angeles Times

March 5, 2010

 

As President Obama pushes for a prompt vote on his health initiative, lobbyists and activist groups on both sides of the issue have launched grass-roots and high-dollar advertising campaigns on the roughly two dozen members of Congress who may be the final swing votes on the issue.

 

Health Reform That Won’t Break the Bank

The Washington Post - Op-Ed

March 5, 2010

Peter Orszag states fiscally responsible health reform is now eminently doable and there is a plan that will significantly improve the nation's fiscal situation. All we need is the will to act.

Dems Have Trouble With Health Care Rifts

USA Today

March 5, 2010

 

Although much of the focus during the health care debate has been on the Senate, a push by Obama for an up-or-down vote on health care later this month has triggered a battle for votes in the House of Representatives where Democrats have struggled to build majorities.

Democratic Leaders Looking To Win Over Abortion Opponents For Health Care Reform

The Washington Post

March 5, 2010

 

The leadership has two choices: It can try to revise the Senate language, which would be all but impossible under the process Democrats are using to pass a final bill, or it can try to convince some abortion opponents that the provisions are acceptable.

 

Abortion and the Health Care Bill

The Wall Street Journal - Op-Ed

March 5, 2010

 

It's now becoming clear that Barack Obama is willing to put everything on the table in order to be the president who passes health care reform. Everything, that is, except a ban on federal funding for abortion.

 

What a Disaster Looks Like

Health Policy & Marketplace Review

March 5, 2010

 

It is now exactly a year since President Obama unveiled his health care push and his decision to devote his inaugural year to it - what a disaster it has been.

 

Tags: health care reform, Health Policy, Health Policy

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