October 14, 2009

October 14: Health Care Reform News

By Kelley Luckstein

Pawlenty Proposes State Health Care Reform

While lawmakers in Washington continue to battle, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is throwing his hat into the health care ring. The governor held a news conference on Tuesday, outlining some specific proposals he wants state lawmakers to work on in the coming year...


But those at Mayo Clinic though, who have been on the forefront of the healthcare debate say whether it's statewide or nationwide people need to know they can count on their coverage no matter what.


"They shouldn't have to worry about loosing it when they loose their jobs. So purchasing across state lines might be one means to achieve that," says Doctor Douglass Wood.


Wood stresses that even though Minnesotans have some of the best healthcare coverage in the country, reform needs to happen sooner rather than later.


"The longer that we wait to get a good solution, the worse we're going to be," Wood notes.


KTTC by Chris Conte, 10/13/09



Top stories


Republican’s Vote Lifts a Health Bill, but Hurdles Remain

The New York Times

Oct. 14, 2009


After months of relentless courting and suspense, Senator Olympia J. Snowe, Republican of Maine, cast her vote with Democrats on Tuesday as the Senate Finance Committee approved legislation to remake the health care system and provide coverage to millions of the uninsured.


Related coverage:
Finance Committee Passes Bill With One GOP Vote, The Washington Post

Senate Finance Committee Approves Health Care Bill, Politico

Health Plan Passes Test, The Wall Street Journal


Snowe vote arms Baucus for party war

Oct. 13, 2009

After months of Democratic infighting, Baucus strengthened his hand by passing an $829 billion bill that checks the boxes on Obama’s wish list: cutting costs, expanding coverage, winning unanimous Democratic support on his committee and even picking up the blush of bipartisanship.  He sent a clear message to progressives who consider Baucus’s bill little more than a good start, a floor from which to build their bill of their dreams: Don’t mess with a good thing.



Democrats Launch Attack on Insurer Exemption


Oct. 14, 2009

The long-simmering tension between insurers and congressional Democrats is erupting into open warfare, with lawmakers stepping up their push to revoke a key federal protection for the insurance industry.

Insurers Stand Against Committees Plan

The Wall Street Journal
Oct. 14, 2009


The insurance industry said Tuesday it opposed the Senate Finance Committee’s bill, a move away from the détente it has maintained during the health-care debate in return for a seat at the negotiating table.




New Conflict Rules at Medical Journals

The Wall Street Journal
Oct. 14, 2009


Editors of some of the world's top medical journals will soon begin to demand more stringent, uniform reporting of conflicts of interest by researchers. The requirements will go beyond existing disclosure rules at many medical journals to include items such as financial relationships involving spouses, partners, or minor children, the Wall Street Journal reports. Also required will be disclosure of nonfinancial conflicts.


Wellness/Chronic Care


Employers' Wellness Rewards Come With Risks

The Wall Street Journal
Oct. 14, 2009


Some employers using wellness and disease management programs to lower costs may soon face a new regulatory obstacle. New federal rules, beginning as soon as Dec. 7, will prohibit health plans and employers from offering any financial rewards to any worker for participating in a health risk assessment that requests information about their family medical history.


State news


Twin Cities Health Care Rivals to Work Together
Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Oct. 13, 2009


HealthPartners and Allina Hospitals and Clinics said Tuesday that they plan to try out new payment formulas to reward quality and improve patient satisfaction, ultimately producing lower costs in that area compared with the rest of the metro.


Reform efforts


Next Up: Harry Reid and the Blenders
The New York Times
Oct. 13, 2009


Senate leaders and White House aides will meet October 14 to try and reconcile competing health bills, a day after the Senate Finance Committee voted to approve legislation.


Health Insurers Emerge as Obama's Top Foe in Reform Effort

The Washington Post

Oct. 13, 2009


Attacks on the leading Democratic reform plan by the insurance lobby left little doubt that the White House and the nation's insurance companies have abandoned any real hope of forging a compromise.


Another GOP Senator Open to Health Care Overhaul

AP/The Washington Post

Oct. 14, 2009


Another Republican senator says she's open to voting for a sweeping health care overhaul this year. Maine Sen. Susan Collins said Wednesday the status quo is unacceptable and she shares the goal of passing responsible health care legislation to expand coverage and curb costs.


People to Watch in the Debate's Next Phase

The Wall Street Journal

Oct. 14, 2009


The Wall Street Journal identifies six people to watch in the coming weeks as the health care debate enters its next phase.


Insurers, Others Attack Health Reform

The Washington Times

Oct. 14, 2009


An array of lobbies with financial stakes in the remake of the health care system - including labor unions, pharmaceutical companies and the health insurance industry - are preparing to torpedo specific provisions in the plans, though each group says it generally supports President Obama's effort.

Unions Will Oppose Baucus Bill Unless It's Changed
AP/Arizona Central
Oct. 14, 2009

About 30 unions will run a full-page ad in newspapers Wednesday announcing their opposition to the Senate Finance Committee's health overhaul bill, a top labor lobbyist said. See the ad here.


Conference Call with Mayo Clinic Health Policy Center

Health Care Repair
October 2009

The Mayo Clinic Health Policy Center will be holding two conference calls to share information about its current positions on health care reform and how to support them. Calls are scheduled for Monday, Oct. 19 at 12:15 pm Central time and Wednesday, Oct. 21 at 12:15 pm Central time. Get details by clicking on the link above.

Tags: health care reform, Health Policy, Health Policy

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