September 11, 2009

September 11: Health Care Reform Coverage

By Kelley Luckstein

Medicare Is No Model for Health Reform

Democratic leaders at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue continue to battle over whether a new government-run health plan, modeled after the popular Medicare program for seniors, must be included in health-reform legislation.


Providers could not keep their doors open without the higher payments from private insurers. A recent letter to Congress from 13 leading health-care delivery organizations, including the Mayo Clinic, said "many providers suffer great financial losses associated with treating Medicare patients." They said that if these rates were expanded to patients who currently have private insurance, the result "will be unsustainable for even the nation's most efficient, high quality providers, eventually driving them out of the market."


Wall Street Journal by Grace-Marie Turner, 09/11/09


Mayo Clinic supports much of president's health-care proposal

Moments after President Obama finished his prime-time speech on health care reform last night, Mayo Clinic voiced support for much of his plan. "Overall, we support his call for health care reform. I think he showed good leadership on the issue. I think he did a good job on calling on both parties to pass meaningful reform," said Jeff Korsmo, director of the clinic's Health Policy Center.


Post-Bulletin by Heather Carlson, 09/10/09


Brown expresses support for health care overhaul

The Democratic-led Congress should push forward with plans to overhaul America's $2.4 trillion health care system even if it means doing so without a single supporting Republican House vote, U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla., said Thursday.


Floyd Willis of Mayo Clinic, one of several physicians invited on the call, said that reform shouldn't happen, though, without both parties supporting it.


Florida Times-Union by Jeremy Cox, 09/11/09


Additional Mayo Clinic health care reform coverage:

NY Times

Taking Note Blog – Maggie Mahar




A Clear Signal on Total Cost, Less Clarity on How to Pay

The Wall Street Journal

September 11, 2009

President Obama said the health overhaul should cost about $900 billion over a decade and not increase the budget deficit. It was the strongest signal he has given on the total tab, but Mr. Obama left unclear how he wants to cover it.

Additional Coverage:

Details Still Lacing on Obama Proposal - The Washington Post

Automatic Cuts Could Help Push Past a Health Hurdle - The New York Times


The Dime Standard

The New York Times - Op-Ed

September 11, 2009


Obama rested the credibility of his presidency on the Dime Standard - “I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits…” This sound bite kills the House health care bill.


Senators Continue Work on Health Care Bill but Obstacles Remain

The Washington Post

September 10, 2009

Senators are proposing changes to a draft health care bill offered this week but their work has made plain that deep divisions remain among the lawmakers.


Government Becoming Insurer for More People

The Wall Street Journal

September 11, 2009

More people are getting their health insurance from the government as the number of individuals with coverage from an employer declines.

Uninsured Population Hits 46.3 Million Americans in 2008

HealthLeaders Media

September 10, 2009


The number of people in the United States without health insurance rose from 45.7 million in 2007 to 46.3 million in 2008.


Reid:  Co-Ops Could Be As Effective as a Government-Run Plan

The Hill

September 11, 2009

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said health care cooperatives could be as effective as a government insurance plan, a stance that could draw strong criticism from liberals. 



Overnight Poll of the 45+ Population Following President’s Speech on September 9

September 11, 2009


Poll results of a nation-wide survey given after President’s speech to the Joint Commission on September 9.




Joint Commission to Help Hospitals Fix, Not Just Identify, Problems

The Wall Street Journal

September 11, 2009


The Joint Commission has announced that its newly-formed Center for Transforming Healthcare will work on new collaborative programs with leading hospitals and health care systems to find a cause of the most deadly breakdowns in patient care, and put a stop to them.




Relief in Massachusetts Health Plan Sought

The Boston Globe

September 11, 2009


Since Massachusetts’ health care overhaul, small business owners say they have had to shoulder double digit annual increases in their premiums in recent years and now cannot afford to insure their employees.




Democrats Seem Unified By Obama Speech

The New York Times

September 11, 2009


Democrats said the president had largely succeeded in unifying his own party by making a cogent, persuasive pitch to the American public and by casting his plan to overhaul the health care system as a political and moral imperative.


On Malpractice Reform, Fine Print is Still Hazy

The Washington Post

September 11, 2009


Obama pitches state-level experiments to reduce litigation but offers few details.


Democrats Promise Action on Health Care Bill This Fall

The Wall Street Journal

September 11, 2009


Democratic congressional leaders have promised action this fall on legislation to overhaul the nation's healthcare system.


Illegal Immigrant Coverage Question is Complex, Experts Say

The Washington Post

September 11, 2009

Republican Rep. Joe Wilson's shout of "You lie!" during President Obama's speech Sept. 9 brought renewed attention to questions about whether Democratic health care legislation would extend coverage to illegal immigrants.



Independents Key in Obama’s Health Pitch

The Washington Times

September 11, 2009


No group will be more pivotal to the fate of Obama’s health care plan than independents that have deserted him in droves in recent months.


Small Business Insurance Rx

CNN Money

September 11, 2009


Congress hasn't approached health care reform from a small business owner's standpoint," says Todd McCracken, president of the National Small Business Association.





Tags: health care reform, Health Policy, Health Policy

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