October 20, 2009

October 19: Health Care Reform News

By Kelley Luckstein

Top stories


The Public Plan, Continued

The New York Times

Oct. 18, 2009


While an inclusion of a government-run insurance plan in health care legislation makes the most sense, there are some basic issues to consider.


White House Aides Reaffirm Public Option is Not Mandatory

The Washington Post

Oct. 19, 2009

The television airwaves were filled Sunday with rat-a-tat over reforming the nation's health-care system, as top administration officials hit the talk show circuit and interest groups waged a record advertising blitz.

Adviser: Obama Waits on Finished Health Care Bill
AP/The Washington Post

Oct. 19, 2009

The White House is waiting for Congress to settle on a final health care bill, even though President Barack Obama has a clear preference in favor of at least one specific - the much-debated public option, advisers said.

Obama, however, will not demand that legislation include a government-run insurance plan intended to drive down costs through competition with private insurers, they said.



Health Care Bills Lack Protections Against Treatment Denials, Experts Say

The Los Angeles Times
Oct. 19, 2009


Despite growing frustration with the way health insurers deny medical treatments, major healthcare bills pending in Congress would give patients little new power to challenge those sometimes life-and-death decisions.


Workers Will Pay More for Health Care, Consulting Firm Says

The Wall Street Journal
Oct. 18, 2009


No matter what happens with health-care reform this fall, employees should expect to pay more for health insurance in 2010 -- especially with co-pays and deductibles.


State news


In Hawaii’s Health System, Lessons for Lawmakers

The New York Times

Oct. 16, 2009


Hawaii residents live longer than people in the rest of the country, recent surveys have shown, and the state’s health care system may be one reason.


Medicaid, S-CHIP Expansion Plan Could Hurt States' Budgets
USA Today
Oct. 19, 2009


The government programs that provide health care to the poor would expand to cover nearly one in five Americans under health insurance legislation pending in Congress, putting pressure on federal and state budgets.




Medicare Changes Coming into Focus

The Dallas Morning News
Oct. 18, 2009

Now that the shouting from August's town hall meetings has died down and Congress has made progress on a health care overhaul, there's growing agreement among policy experts about how Medicare will be affected.

Reform efforts


Galen Poll Shows Overwhelming Opposition to the Individual Mandate and Other Key Components of Congressional Health Reform Proposals (see attached document)
The Galen Institute
Oct. 19, 2009


The Galen Institute today released new survey results showing overwhelming opposition to the individual mandate and other key components of health reform legislation Congress is considering.


Health Care Poses Stiff Tests for Top Democrats

The New York Times
Oct. 18, 2009


Senator Harry Reid and Speaker Nancy Pelosi have different styles and different sets of Democrats to assemble behind separate proposals.


In Health Debate, Those Numbers Are Just Numbers

The Washington Post

Oct. 19, 2009


The CBO's price tags are educated guesses, but guesses nonetheless.


Health insurers' support of bill seen wavering

USA Today
Oct. 18, 2009


As an $829 billion, 10-year health care bill approved by the Senate Finance Committee moves toward debate by the full Senate this month, the insurance industry and the Obama administration are increasingly at odds over key provisions in the bill.


Geisinger: Health-Care Cure or Anomaly?

The Philadelphia Inquirer
Oct. 18, 2009


Geisinger Health System has been widely hailed as a model for health reform by leading Democrats including President Obama. But, its success may hinge on a rare combination of factors including a relative lack of competition, its stable patient base, and the fact that its 800 doctors are on salary, as well as an in-house pharmacy and insurance plan that covers one-third of its patients. If that's the case, Geisinger's particular achievements may not be replicable elsewhere.


Obama Administration


6 Who Will Sell Health Care

The Chicago Tribune
Oct. 18, 2009


Months ago, when President Barack Obama made health care his top domestic priority and picked the White House team to make it happen, he selected individuals for just this moment -- not for the beginning or the middle of the campaign, but for the end of the fight.


Health Information Technology


When 2+2 Equals a Privacy Question

The New York Times

Oct. 18, 2009


Some privacy advocates wonder whether rules for electronic records offer enough protection.




More is Less and Someone Else's Money

This American Life

Oct. 18, 2009


A two-part series on the American health care system.

Tags: health care reform, Health Policy, Health Policy

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