August 5, 2009

August 5: Health Care Reform Roundup

By Kelley Luckstein

America is well served by Mayo Clinic's thoughtful health-reform critique


In recent weeks the American Medical Association (AMA) stepped out and enthusiastically endorsed the health-reform bill proposed by House Democrats. This sparked a nationwide flurry of criticism from health-care providers, who made it known that the AMA does not speak for them and that the bills in Congress fall far short of solving America's health care issues...Of these provider voices, the Mayo Clinic's may be the most influential. President Barack Obama regularly cites Mayo as a model for reform. Consequently, its criticism of congressional reforms is tough to ignore.


MinnPost, by Peter Nelson 8/5/09


Additional Mayo Clinic Health Care Reform Coverage:

Albert Lea Tribune

Discover Magazine (blog)

Grand Forks Herald

Globe and Mail

Hutchinson News



Top stories


How We Can Achieve Bipartisan Health Reform

The Washington Post – op-ed

Aug. 5, 2009


Ron Wyden and Robert F. Bennett writewe refuse to let partisanship kill health reform -- and we are proof that it doesn't have to.”


To Lower Costs, Mass. May Restructure Doctor Pay
Aug. 5, 2009

Policymakers want to end a time-honored tradition of paying doctors a separate fee for each service.

The Three Trillion Dollar Question: What Health Care Reform Can Save For Families, Businesses and Taxpayers


Aug. 5, 2009


The new U.S. PIRG study out this morning detailing how health care reform can save $3 trillion over ten years, analyzing the savings, policy by policy and state by state.


For Health Insurers’ Lobbyist, Good Will Is Tested

The New York Times

Aug. 5, 2009


The work of the industry’s chief lobbyist, Karen Ignagni, over the last three years to reach agreements among insurers may be undercut.


Additional coverage:
AHIP Decries Demonization of Private Health Insurance , HealthLeaders Media


Obama Pushes Democrats for Unity on Health Plan

New York Times
Aug. 4, 2009


President Obama continues to urge Democratic senators to persevere in trying to get a bipartisan deal on healthcare, but left open the possibility that they might have to pass a bill with only Democratic votes if Republicans stood in the way.




More Than 50% of Poor Residents in Some Counties are Uninsured
HealthLeaders Media

Aug. 5, 2009


As if anyone needs evidence the healthcare safety net isn't working, new state and county data from the U.S. Census Bureau for 2006 might be convincing.


Beyond Co-Pay: Surprise Bills at the Doctor’s

The Wall Street Journal
Aug. 5, 2009


To ensure they get paid, doctors seek entire bill for patient share upfront.




Medical Papers by Ghostwriters Pushed Therapy
The New York Times
Aug. 5, 2009


Newly unveiled court documents show that ghostwriters paid by a pharmaceutical company played a major role in producing 26 scientific papers backing the use of hormone replacement therapy in women. The findings suggest that the level of hidden industry influence on medical literature is broader than previously known.


State news


Mass.: Health Fund for Jobless Runs Low

The Boston Globe
Aug. 5, 2009


A state program that helps pay most health insurance costs for 27,000 unemployed Massachusetts residents is on the cusp of going broke. The program is now setting off a debate between healthcare advocates and business leaders who say funding it is a burden on companies fighting for their survival.


Reform efforts


Recess Health Care Ad Blitz Kicks Off


Aug. 5, 2009

Health care reform has “the potential to become the mother of all advocacy ad wars,” says Evan Tracey, founder of the Campaign Media Analysis Group.

Additional coverage:
Groups Take Health-Reform Debate to Airwaves, The Washington Post

As Congress Goes on Break, Health Lobbying Heats Up
The Wall Street Journal
Aug. 5, 2009

Groups of all stripes are blitzing lawmakers to shape a trillion-dollar health-care overhaul that would reach into every business and every home in the country.

UnitedHealth Seeks a Major Role in Overhauled Health Care System
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Aug. 5, 2009

Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group has been an active presence in the national debate on health care.



In Health Care Debate, Small Business Becomes Pivotal

The Los Angeles Times

Aug. 5, 2009


President Obama and lawmakers pledge to relieve firms struggling to cover workers. But how? Two company owners in Oregon and Ohio differ strongly, reflecting the difficulty in reaching a solution


Tags: Health Policy, Health Policy

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