September 14, 2009

September 14: Health Care Reform News

By Kelley Luckstein

Is There Hope for Health Reform?

The Post asked former lawmakers and political experts whether the plan President Obama outlined to Congress can pass. Below are contributions from Mack Mclarty, Scott Keeter, Bob Dole, Kiki Mclean, Tony Fratto, Denis Cortese, Al From and Donna Brazile




President and chief executive of the Mayo Clinic.


The key to reaching agreement on health-care reform this year is to keep the needs of patients at the center of every discussion. Almost everyone agrees that the health-care situation in the United States is unsustainable; we pay too much for too little.


It is critical that everyone have access to affordable, high-quality health care that offers choice and security. To accomplish this, we must focus first on two areas of reform: health-insurance reform and reform of health-care delivery.


Washington Post, 09/11/09



Obama meets with Mayo's Cortese

President Obama met briefly with Mayo Clinic chief executive officer Dr. Denis Cortese on Saturday, the first meeting the president has had with a Mayo official, according to Jeffrey Korsmo, director of Mayo Clinic Health mn-obamaPolicy Center.


"It's significant in that obviously the president has many demands on his time," Korsmo said. "We're very grateful, and it was time well-spent by us and hopefully by him."


Post-Bulletin by Matt Russell, 09/12/09



Hundreds gather to talk health care with Walz

Of the 11,000 pages of the health care reform proposal, 1st District Rep. Tim Walz says only three are key to a real solution.


Those three pages are about using a value-based index of funding for Medicare, rewarding states such as Minnesota and Wisconsin for providing what studies have found is the best care for the lowest cost…


Dr. Doug Wood, a Mayo Clinic doctor who shared the stage with Walz, helped introduce the forum by saying Medicare payment disparity cost Mayo $840 million in 2008.


Post-Bulletin by Jeff Kiger, 09/12/09


Reform debate comes to a head as each faction attempts to rally lawmaker and public support for its solutions to healthcare's problems

Elected in part because of his pledge to overhaul the nation's healthcare system, yet politically scarred after a tough August, President Barack Obama used the most visible platform available to try to reclaim the upper hand on health reform.


The results, according to industry executives, policy shapers and federal lawmakers, were mixed.


In the roughly hourlong speech, Obama made his strongest pitch yet for the controversial option of including a public health plan. He also outlined a slate of proposed changes to the health insurance industry that, if implemented, would guarantee that virtually every American could find some level of coverage regardless of past health issues or financial wherewithal…


Denis Cortese, the outgoing president and CEO of 18-hospital Mayo Clinic system, said he would have liked to have seen Obama focus more on delivery system reform rather than changes to how care will be paid for, even though the latter might be easier to do politically. “The first two-thirds of his speech was clearly on health insurance reform,” he said. “Frankly, it's easier to go after the insurance companies.”


Modern Healthcare by Matthew DoBias, 09/14/09


Additional Mayo Clinic health care reform coverage:

Billings Gazette

Star Tribune



Top stories


Is There Hope for Health Reform?

The Washington Post

Sept. 13, 2009


The Post asked former lawmakers and political experts whether the plan President Obama outlined to Congress can pass. Includes contributions from Mack Mclarty, Scott Keeter, Bob Dole, Kiki Mclean, Tony Fratto, Denis Cortese, Al From and Donna Brazile.


Public Option Fades From Debate Over Health Care

The New York Times
Sept. 13, 2009


The public option now appears to be dying, a victim of an ineffectual White House strategy, the president’s failure to argue passionately for the “public option” and all-out opposition by the insurance industry and much of the health care industry.


Public Insurer Support Fading

The Boston Globe
Sept. 14, 2009


Leading moderates in both parties retreated further from the government-backed health insurance option yesterday, echoing the argument President Obama made last week that the issue had been overblown and that alternatives, such as private nonprofit cooperatives, might be acceptable.


Reform Opposition Is High but Easing

The Washington Post

Sept. 14, 2009

President Obama continues to face significant public resistance to his drive to initiate far-reaching changes to the country's health-care system, with widespread skepticism about central tenets of his plan, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.


Senate Plan to Create Winners and Losers
The Washington Post

Sept. 14, 2009

Hospitals and drug makers like what they see in the early version of a health care plan that may evolve into the one that ends up on President Barack Obama's desk.  But insurers and doctors say they aren't happy. Neither are advocates for low-income workers and some business groups representing employers.


On '60 Minutes,' Obama Predicts Health Care Will Succeed

The Washington Post

Sept. 14, 2009


On 60 Minutes, Obama repeated his belief that he will achieve a health care bill. He said he remained open to any ideas that could lead to a compromise -- but only if they led to cost savings.




Comparing Treatments Brings Another Wrinkle to the Health Care Debate

The Louisville Courier-Journal
Sept. 13, 2009


Comparative effectiveness research could change how certain procedures are paid for and it may be a better solution than some current cost-saving policies.


State news


Maryland Reins In Hospital Costs by Setting Rates

The Wall Street Journal

Sept. 14, 2009


In the fight over a health-care overhaul, Maryland's experience with setting hospital rates suggests the federal government could realize savings on health spending, but at a price of more regulation for health providers.




U.S. Cost-Saving Policy Forces New Kidney Transplant

The New York Times
Sept. 14, 2009


Medicare stops paying for anti-rejection drugs after 36 months, one of several anomalies that many in Congress hope to cure with this year’s health care bill.


Reform efforts


Take Public Option ‘Off the Table,’ Snowe Says

The New York Times
Sept. 13, 2009


A key Republican senator who President Obama hopes will support his effort to overhaul the nation’s health-care system urged him Sunday to take any plan for a new government-run program “off the table.”


Nonprofit Groups Upset at Exclusion From Health Bills

The New York Times
Sept. 14, 2009


Since nonprofit groups do not pay income taxes, they would not benefit from a tax credit for small businesses that provide health insurance to employees.


Senate Committee Tackles Illegal-Immigrant Healthcare Concerns

The Los Angeles Times
Sept. 12, 2009


Key members of the Senate Finance Committee moved to quell the latest furor over President Obama's healthcare overhaul, discussing added identification and enforcement requirements intended to prevent illegal immigrants from receiving federal benefits.


Medical-Device Makers Launch a Lobbying Blitz
Sept. 14, 2009


The medical-device industry is organizing companies that make everything from CT scans to contact lenses to fight a proposed $4 billion annual fee on device makers, arguing that companies across the board could get hit with the fees.

AMA Does 180 on Health Care

The Chicago Tribune
Sept. 14, 2009


This time, the voice of America's doctors is on the other side -- working not to defeat President Barack Obama's proposals but to get them enacted into law. Some say the group was bought off.


Health Information Technology


Charting a New Course

CBS News
Sept. 13, 2009


CBS Sunday Morning reports that electronic medical records are here, and they come not without challenges, controversy or expense.


Tags: health care reform, Health Policy, Health Policy

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