September 3, 2009

September 3: Health Care Reform News

By Kelley Luckstein

Hill: Time for reform is now

Indiana 9th District Rep. Baron Hill said Tuesday he has set criteria for himself on what health care reform must include to earn his vote.

Hill was elaborating on comments he had made to both the supporters and protesters of health care reform who attended his public forum on the topic Monday night in New Albany.


To reach deficit neutrality, Hill proposed that reform model the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where doctors are paid salaries rather than fees and where health care is considered top rate.


“The Mayo Clinic has the finest care in the country at the lowest cost, and we need to achieve that same model,” he said.


Tribune (Seymour, IN) by Brandy Emily, 09/02/09


Bill Boyne: Health care reform debate is divisive, expensive

The vicious wrangling over health care reform -- in Washington and elsewhere -- is more easily understood when you recognize that "dollars rule debate."


That fact was demonstrated in a recent report by the Center of Responsive Politics. A section of that report reads as follows:

"This week the Center of Responsive Politics reported that in the second quarter of this year alone the pharmaceutical and health product industries spent $67,959,059 on lobbying, and the insurance industry $39,760,477. Another $25,552,088 was spent by lobbyists for hospitals and nursing homes. That's a total of $133,271,660 in just three months.


People familiar with the Mayo Clinic's health care proposals know there is a way to avoid these alarming results. It is to follow the health care principles promoted by the Mayo Clinic.


Post-Bulletin, Opinion by Bill Boyne, 09/02/09


Top stories


Obama Aides Aim to Simplify and Scale Back Health Bills

The New York Times
Sept. 3, 2009


President Obama plans to address a joint session of Congress next week in an effort to rally support for health care legislation as White House officials look for ways to simplify and scale back the major Democratic bills, lower the cost and drop contentious but nonessential elements.


Obama's Speech: High Risk, High Reward, Politico

Obama Relaunches Health Bid , The Wall Street Journal

President To Flesh Out His Vision In Speech, The Washington Post


Mitch McConnell: Ditching Public Option Isn't Enough

Sept. 3, 2009


President Obama may be signaling that he's willing to drop the public option from his health care overhaul effort, but don't expect Republicans to jump on the reform bandwagon just yet.

Opinion: Climbing the Hill on Health Care

The Wall Street Journal

Sept. 2, 2009


Tom Daschle says Democrats will pursue reform with or without Republican support.




$40 Million to Fight Hospital Infections


Sept. 1, 2009


The U.S. government is using $40 million of Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to help hospitals fight healthcare-associated infections.


State news


Minnesota Experiment Puts Patient Health First

Sept. 3, 2009


Minnesota may have found its own way to move doctors off of the fee-for-service treadmill.


Mass: State Targets Health Care Officials’ Pay
The Boston Globe
Sept. 3, 2009


Massachusetts officials unveiled plans to tighten their oversight of pay and other practices at nonprofit healthcare companies in Massachusetts.


Kaiser Study Finds Shortcomings in Massachusetts Insurance Programs

The New York Times
Sept. 2, 2009


Massachusetts' nearly three-year-old experiment in trying to insure almost everyone has been closely watched for evidence to inform the national healthcare debate. Now a study from the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation shows the effort has not provided much help to people whose employers offer coverage that is unaffordable or inadequate.


Reform efforts


CRS Report for Congress (attached)

Tax Options for Financing Health Care Reform

Aug. 6, 2009


An analysis of tax options for financing health care reform.


Democrats Target High Earners to Help Fund Health Plan

The Wall Street Journal

Sept. 3, 2009


Senate Democrats are revisiting proposals to raise taxes on high-income people to help pay for an overhaul of the health-care system.


At Vigils, Support Shown for Health-Care Bill

The Washington Post

Sept. 3, 2009

Amid ongoing debate over health-care reform, thousands gathered Wednesday night at events held across the nation, including at least four in the Washington area, to urge Congress and the Obama Administration to approve a bill soon.

Tangible and Unseen Health-Care Costs

The Wall Street Journal

Sept. 3, 2009

The direct costs of medical malpractice amount to a small portion of overall health-care spending, but the tests conducted for fear of lawsuits are tougher to quantify.

AARP Raises Its Voice in Health Care Debate
USA Today
Sept. 2, 2009


AARP, which has lost tens of thousands of members over its support for efforts to revamp the health care system, is preparing a post-Labor Day blitz to try to cast itself as a politically impartial advocate on health care issues.


Study: Medical Home Model Increases Quality of Care, Reduces Cost

Healthcare Finance News
Sept. 1, 2009


A study done by the Group Health Cooperative indicates the "patient-centered medical home" model could reduce the cost of care for patients and help solve the nation’s primary care physician shortage. Click here to read the full report.


Kerry Says He'll Carry on Kennedy Health Care Push

AP/Yahoo News
Sept. 3, 2009


Sen. John Kerry said Wednesday he would take up one of Sen. Edward Kennedy's key political fights, pledging to the thousands who attended his town hall meeting to push for the health care overhaul championed by his longtime Democratic colleague.


New England Journal of Medicine

September 2009


Three new articles from the NEJM:


Systemwide Cost Control — The Missing Link in Health Care Reform

J. Oberlander and J. White

Health Insurers at the Table — Industry Proposals for Regulation and Reform

K. Ignagni

Why Paying for Health Care Reform Is Difficult and Essential — Numbers and Rules

H.J. Aaron




Tags: health care reform, Health Policy, Health Policy

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