September 22, 2009

September 22: Health Care Reform News

By Kelley Luckstein

Cortese: Health plan should focus on patient needs

Dr. Denis Cortese, national CEO of Mayo Clinic, seems to be in the midst of a campaign.


The United States never planned a health system, he says. That's freeing, he told the National Press Club on Friday. It was his third time at the club in Washington, D.C.


Cortese made clear during his speech that Mayo does not "back bills" working their way through Congress. That's how he deflected a question about whether Mayo supports House bill 3200, which has received so much criticism.


Post-Bulletin by Jeff Hansel, 09/21/09


Washington Post examines the Mayo model

Minnesota’s well-known Mayo Clinic got a check-up Sunday in a high-profile Washington Post story.The article raises fair questions about whether the Mayo group-practice model could be replicated on a broad basis. It also explores criticism lobbed by some single-payer advocates this summer: that the Rochester-based medical center’s enviable outcomes are due largely to its healthy, wealthy and racially homogenous Midwestern patients.


Star Tribune by Jill Burcum, 09/21/09


Doctors on Salary, One Key to Mayo’s Success

During the health care debate, President Obama and others have evoked the venerated name of Mayo. The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., has been singled out as a top flight provider of health care and a program which also manages to keep costs down. President of the Mayo Clinic Dr. Denis Cortese talks with Linda Wertheimer about the key to the clinic's success. Online article: NPR, Mayo Clinic: America’s Model? By Scott Hensley


NPR – Morning Edition with Linda Wertheimer, 09/22/09



Additional Mayo Clinic health care reform coverage:

The Advertiser


Kaiser Health News



Top stories


Revised Bill Would Ease Burden on Middle Class

The Washington Post
Sept. 22, 2009


Seeking to lock down votes before Tuesday's meeting of the Senate Finance Committee, Chairman Max Baucus began reworking his health-care overhaul to ease the financial burden on middle-class Americans who would be required for the first time to have health insurance.

Related coverage:
Key Senator Says He Will Alter Health Proposal, The New York Times
Senators Start Work on Health Bill, The Wall Street Journal


The Day in Health Care

Sept. 22, 2009

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus plans to introduce a modified version of his health care reform bill Tuesday to respond to concerns from Democrats and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) that the insurance coverage isn’t affordable enough, according to sources close to the negotiations.



The Uninsured: What Do the New Numbers Mean for Health Reform?

The Alliance for Health Care Reform
Sept. 18, 2009


Link to materials from last Friday’s Alliance briefing, which included commentary from Len Nichols, New American Foundation; Stuart Butler, Heritage Foundation; and John Colmers, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.


Does Lack of Insurance Cause Premature Death?

Health Affairs blog
Sept. 21, 2009


John C. Goodman, founder of the National Center for Policy Analysis, analyzes studies suggesting that a high number of deaths are caused by lack of insurance.


Wellness/Chronic Care


To Explain Longevity Gap, Look Past Health System
The New York Times
Sept. 22, 2009


A prominent researcher has taken a closer look at the growing body of international data, and he finds no evidence that America’s health care system is to blame for the longevity gap between it and other industrialized countries.


Community-Based Health Prevention Programs Promote Long-Term Savings

HealthLeaders Media

Sept. 22, 2009


A new compendium of community based prevention programs released Monday by the Trust for America's Health and The New York Academy of Medicine is designed to help show how certain types of preventive services can yield substantial net savings—largely because the initial costs are low and the long-term benefits are large. Click here to view the compendium.


Getting Well: It's About Time
The Wall Street Journal
Sept. 21, 2009


An estimated one-third to one-half of the $2.2 trillion Americans spend annually on health care in the U.S. is spent on unnecessary tests, treatments and doctor visits. Much of that merely buys time for the body to heal itself.


Reform efforts


Chatting With Baucus, Over a Cup of Buffalo Blend

The New York Times
Sept. 22, 2009


An interview with Sen. Max Baucus just ahead of the start of committee action on his far-reaching legislation to revamp the health care system.


Kent Conrad: 'This (Health Care) Bill is ... Not the Status Quo'

Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Sept. 21, 2009


An interview with Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D.


Pelosi: Health Reform Will Pass Within Weeks, With Public Option

Sept. 22, 2009


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday that health care reform legislation would pass the House within weeks and that it will include a public option.

Senators Compromise on Health Bill
Sept. 22, 2009

After months of private negotiations and cryptic public statements, senators are beginning to show their hands on health care reform. Here’s a look at areas where liberals were placated and conservatives took heart — and at how senators from both parties want more out of the bill.

Ignagni Letter to Baucus
Sept. 22, 2009

Letter from Karen Ignagni to Chairman Baucus in advance of the markup that starts today. She outlines AHIP thoughts/concerns with a number of the policy proposals that are being considered.

White House Report Focuses on Rising Health-Care Premiums

The Wall Street Journal

Sept. 22, 2009


Vice President Joe Biden plans Tuesday to join in the effort to sell President Barack Obama's health-care overhaul by unveiling a White House study of rising health-insurance rates.

Being Olympia Snowe
The Washington Post
Sept. 22, 2009

As the health care debate enters its final stretch, Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe (R) has emerged as the focal point not only of the White House's attempts to make the final bill a bipartisan affair but also for liberals who want the so-called public option in the legislation.

Hospitals' Charity Care Under Scrutiny Nationwide

The Chicago Tribune
Sept. 22, 2009


The Baucus health bill includes a proposal from the ranking Republican on the panel, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, to "improve the community service, transparency and billing practices of nonprofit hospitals." The legislation also would require hospitals to adopt and "widely publicize" written financial assistance policies, which are now largely voluntary.


Supporters of Public Option Plan Nationwide Protest

The New York Times
Sept. 21, 2009

When the Senate Finance Committee takes up its health-care bill on Tuesday, activists who favor a public option plan to stage demonstrations nationwide against the health insurance industry.

Young, Invincible — and the Key to Health-Care Reform
Time Magazine
Sept. 22, 2009


The willingness of young people to forgo insurance, it turns out, is a major problem for the entire health-care system, which needs them on the rolls to help spread out risk and keep older Americans' premiums from going even higher.




Small-Business Group Seeks Affordable Health Care


Sept. 21, 2009


Under various health care overhaul bills on Capitol Hill, small-business owners would be required to insure themselves. Amanda Austin, director of federal public policy for the National Federation of Independent Business, says affordability is the key if the government mandates health coverage




Academic Medical Centers: The Tipping Point

Sept. 10, 2009


A new report by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, "Academic Medical Centers: The Tipping Point," shares recent research about the pressures facing each element of Academic Medical Centers’ tripartite mission – pressures that are being compounded by the unprecedented effects of health cost containment, health reform and the recession.



Tags: health care reform, Health Policy, Health Policy

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