November 2, 2009

November 2: Health Care Reform News

By Kelley Luckstein

Urban Hospitals May Feel Squeeze in Health Overhaul

As Congress struggles to rein in health care costs as part of its sweeping reform efforts, hospitals in New York City and other urban areas that provide some of the most expensive care are among the primary targets.


The issue pits hospitals in more rural states like Iowa and Minnesota, where spending tends to be lower, against those in areas like New York City and Los Angeles, and revolves around a question that has bedeviled the medical establishment for decades: how much money do hospitals need to provide adequate care for patients, especially poor people who have not had regular access to health care…


Dr. Michael L. Langberg, senior vice president for medical affairs at Cedars-Sinai Health System in Los Angeles, wrote in a letter in May to the Senate Finance Committee: “The vast majority of the U.S. population does not live in places that resemble Rochester, Minnesota,” the home of the often-praised Mayo Clinic, “rural north-central Pennsylvania, or Utah.”


NY Times by Anemona Hartocollis, 11/2/09


Top stories


Behind Scenes, President Obama Shepherds the Health Reform Bill

Nov. 2, 2009

As health care reform legislation inexorably makes its way through Congress, President Barack Obama, who has the biggest stake in its success, has seemed distant from the grueling, detailed work of crafting the reform law. Yet that impression is somewhat misleading. Part of a special section: Health Care: The Negotiators.

Obama Strategy on Health Legislation Appears to Pay Off

The New York Times

Nov. 1, 2009


After months of plodding work by five Congressional committees and weeks of back-room bargaining by Democratic leaders, President Obama’s arms-length strategy on health care appears to be paying dividends, with the House and the Senate poised to take up legislation to insure nearly all Americans.


Pelosi Preps for Health Care Plunge

The Hill

Nov. 2, 2009


Ready or not, House Democratic leaders say they are pushing for a healthcare vote this week. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is poised to send a bill to the floor Monday in its final form, setting up a vote as early as Thursday.


GOP Set to Propose Its Own Health Bill

The Wall Street Journal
Nov. 2, 2009


Republicans are preparing an alternative health-care bill to Democratic legislation, House Republican Leader John Boehner said, marking a shift in strategy as the full House is set to begin debate on the issue this week.


CBO Rebuts Pros, Cons of Public Option

The Wall Street Journal

Oct. 31, 2009


A report issued by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office highlights faults with both sides of the argument to create a public health-insurance plan.


After All the Fuss, Public Health Plan Covers Few, AP/Yahoo News

Analysis: Public Option Might Play Only Minor Role In Changing Health Care , Kaiser Health News




House Calls as Cost-Saver in Health Care Reform?

AP/Richmond-Times Dispatch
Nov. 1, 2009

Dr. Peter Boling, a geriatrician and head of general medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, is on a mission: to convince Congress that the old-fashioned house call could be a fresh answer to the modern-day health care reform dilemma.

State news


States Likely to Shape Health Reform

The Washington Post
Nov. 1, 2009


Any reform bill would delegate momentous decisions to state officials.


Reform efforts


White House releases six-month log of visitors

The Washington Post

Oct. 31, 2009


In a first for any president, Obama in September authorized the release of contents of the usually hush-hush visitors log. Topping the list, in terms of frequency of visits, was Andy Stern, the head of the Service Employees International Union. He made the short trip from Dupont Circle at least 19 times, including for five meetings with the president.


How Drug-Industry Lobbyists Won on Health-Care

Time Magazine

Oct. 22, 2009


Drug companies have spent more than any other segment of the medical industry to make sure that they come out winners in the effort to overhaul the nation's health-care system. In the first six months of this year alone, drug and biotech companies and their trade associations spent more than $110 million — that's about $609,000 a day — to influence lawmakers, according to figures compiled by the nonpartisan watchdog group Center for Responsive Politics. The return on that investment has been considerable, both in the House and in the Senate.


Hearts, Minds and Health Care

The Washington Post – Op Ed

Nov. 2, 2009


Columnist E.J. Dionne Jr. says much of the rhetoric you'll hear in the coming weeks will not really be about whether to pass a health care bill. It will be designed to shape how the voters who will decide the 2010 elections -- and, ultimately, the fate of health-care reform itself -- come to view the new system.


The Worst Bill Ever

The Wall Street Journal

Nov. 1, 2009


Speaker Nancy Pelosi has reportedly told fellow Democrats that she's prepared to lose seats in 2010 if that's what it takes to pass ObamaCare, and little wonder. The health bill she unwrapped last Thursday, which President Obama hailed as a "critical milestone," may well be the worst piece of post-New Deal legislation ever introduced.

The "Third School" for Controlling Health Care Costs?

The Kaiser Family Foundation
Oct. 23, 2009


Kaiser Family Foundation President and CEO Drew Altman, Ph.D., explores the rise to prominence of the "Systems Reformers" and their place in efforts to control health care costs.

Tags: health care reform, Health Policy, Health Policy

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