March 17: Health Care Reform News

Posted on March 17th, 2010 by

Top stories

House Democrats Scramble to Ensure Adequate Deficit Reduction in Health Bill
The Washington Post
March 17, 2010

Congressional Democrats rushing to push President Obama's health-care initiative to final passage this week hit a new snag Tuesday, as the final piece of the package was held up by concerns that it would do too little to reduce the nation's budget deficit.

House Leaders Joust Over Use of Parliamentary Rule

The Washington Post

March 17, 2010

 

An obscure parliamentary maneuver favored by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) suddenly ignited Tuesday as the latest tinder in the year-long partisan strife over reshaping the nation's health-care system. Republicans condemned Pelosi's idea -- in which House members would make a final decision on broad health-care changes without voting directly on the Senate version of the bill -- as an abuse of the legislative process.

 

Democrats Consider New Moves for Health Bill

The New York Times

March 16, 2010

 

As lawmakers clashed fiercely over major health care legislation on the House floor, Democrats struggled Tuesday to defend procedural shortcuts they might use to win approval for their proposals in the next few days.

 

‘Slaughter Solution’ Could Face Legal Challenge

Politico
March 17, 2010

The so-called “Slaughter solution” (named for Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.)) for enacting health care reform without a conventional House vote on an identically worded Senate bill would be vulnerable to credible constitutional challenge, experts say.

Health Care Foes 11 Votes Shy of Defeating Bill

CNN

March 16, 2010

 

Five more House Democrats said Tuesday that they will vote against Senate health care legislation, which puts opponents of reform just 11 votes shy of the 216 needed to prevent President Obama from scoring a major victory on his top domestic priority.

 

Kucinich Drops Opposition to Health-Care Bill

The Washington Post
March 17, 2010

 

Ohio Democrat Dennis Kucinich says he will vote for measure now before the House, despite reservations.

 

Insurance

 

Barely Hanging On: Middle-Class and Uninsured

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation special report
March 2010

 

A new report from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that the number of middle-income earners who obtained health insurance from their employers dropped by 3 million people from 2000 to 2008. Just 66 percent of people in families earning roughly $45,000 to $85,000 are now insured through their employer – a drop of seven percentage points from 2000 to 2008.

 

Wellness/Chronic Care

 

First Lady Asks Foodmakers to Be on Front Line Tackling Childhood Obesity

The Washington Post

March 16, 2010

 

Michelle Obama on Tuesday called on corporate food giants such as Coca-Cola, General Mills and Kraft Foods to step up efforts to produce more healthful food and then market that, rather than junk food, to children.

 

Patients Bear Brunt as Cancer Care Spending Hits $90 Billion

USA Today
March 17, 2010

 

The cost of cancer treatment is 'skyrocketing' -- both for individual patients and the nation, a new analysis shows. From 1990 to 2008, spending on cancer care soared to more than $90 billion from $27 billion. The increase was driven by the rising costs of sophisticated new drugs, robotic surgeries and radiation techniques, as well as the growing number of patients who are eligible to take them, says Peter Bach of New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, co-author of an analysis in today's Journal of the American Medical Association.

 

State news

 

MA: Martha Coakley Hits Hospital Rates

The Boston Herald
March 17, 2010

When it comes to getting high quality medical care in Massachusetts, the bigger hospitals aren’t always better. But they tend to be a lot more expensive, according to a new report by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office.

MA: Call to Cap Medical Payments is Likely
The Boston Globe
March 17, 2010

Massachusetts Senate leaders have indicated that they will push forward measures this year to control soaring healthcare costs in the state that probably will include caps on payments to hospitals and doctors.

 

FL: Jackson Health System Eyes Possible Concessions From Nurses Union

The Miami Herald

March 17, 2010

Representatives of Jackson Health System and the nurses union discussed the possibility of concessions to help cut the troubled health system's labor costs.

Medicare/Medicaid

 

As Medicare Pay Shrinks, Some California Docs Hike Patient Fees

Kaiser Health News
March 16, 2010

One California cardiology group has confronted steep Medicare cuts with a tactic that may irk patients who already face soaring health costs in that state: Beginning April 1, Pacific Heart Institute, in Santa Monica, will charge some patients annual fees ranging from $500 to $7,500, in addition to the regular fees paid by patients and insurers.

 

The steep fees provide an unusually vivid example of a phenomenon called "cost-shifting," one of the many reasons economists say your health insurance costs so much.

 

Kids Caught in Medicaid Pay Crossfire

CNN

March 17, 2010

 

Getting paid "fairly" by Medicaid is such a problem for that many doctors are no longer taking new patients, or dropping patients altogether, says one Georgia pediatrician. That means she's seeing more patients -- and losing money.

 

Reform efforts

 

House Dems Feeling the Heat Over Health Care

Politico

March 17, 2010

Some members are getting calls from Obama — for others the pressure tactics are less friendly. Related: Obama, Aides Don't Take ‘No’ For An Answer, USA Today

Wary Democrats Eye Poll Numbers as Health Vote Looms

The Wall Street Journal

March 16, 2010

 

Party leaders are assuring wavering Democrats that passage of a sweeping health-care plan will help them in the midterm elections, despite Republican warnings that supporting the bill is political suicide.

 

Overhaul Splits Party Faithful

The Wall Street Journal

March 17, 2010

 

The pending health overhaul remains unpopular with a broad swath of the public, but core Democrats the party needs to vote in November are strong backers, a WSJ/NBC poll finds.

 

Sebelius Confident Health Care Bill Will Pass

Seattle Times
March 17, 2010

 

U.S. Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Tuesday that she's confident the House will have the votes to pass President Barack Obama's health care legislation, possibly as early as Friday.

 

Obama to Take Questions From Fox News

The New York Times
March 17, 2010

 

President Obama will give a rare interview on Wednesday to Fox News, the cable network that a top administration official once accused of being a political arm of the Republican Party.

 

Health Information Technology

 

Cleveland Clinic Program Linking Chronic-Disease Patients Directly to Doctors Online Shows Success

The Cleveland Plain Dealer

March 17, 2010

 

Preliminary results from a pilot project show patients with chronic diseases manage them better when they have a medical device that allows them to connect online directly with their doctors

Tags: health care reform, Health Policy, Health Policy

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