November 3, 2009

November 3: Health Care Reform News

By Kelley Luckstein

The real road to health care reform

Everyone is talking about the need for health care reform. I agree. I am a retired general practice physician. After 48 years in mainly solo private practice, I feel that I have some insights into parts of what is needed to reform our medical care system.

1) We need to have mandatory, affordable and basic insurance coverage for everyone, regardless of health status…


6) Provision for the continuation of the private practice of medical services should be reasonably assured, if providers so wish. (Federal suggestions of how to organize medical delivery all emphasize Kaiser, Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic, etc., which have all salaried providers, or on the state level, with attempts to pass legislation to allow the corporate hiring by hospitals of physicians to practice medicine. Corporate medicine in small towns and rural areas is difficult to organize.)


Napa Valley Register by A. Donald Miller, 11/2/09



Top stories


Urban Hospitals May Feel a Squeeze in Health Overhaul

The New York Times
Nov. 3, 2009


A House bill provision would order a study of regional variations in Medicare spending, pitting more rural hospitals against those in areas like New York City.


Democrats Say House Bill Cuts Premiums for Many

The New York Times

Nov. 2, 2009


As the House moved toward climactic votes on legislation to remake the health care system, the Congressional Budget Office said Monday that middle-income families might be required to pay 15 percent to 18 percent of their income on insurance premiums and co-payments under the proposal.


Health bill could slip into next year

Nov. 3, 2009

Democrats have blown so many deadlines for getting health reform done this year that insiders are increasingly skeptical they can finish by year’s end — and some even suggest the effort might slip to a new deadline, before the State of the Union address.

GOP Health Bill Focuses on Lower Costs


Nov. 2, 2009


The Republicans’ health care bill in the House focuses more on lowering costs than on expanding coverage, party leaders said Monday — setting up a stark divide between the GOP and Democrats who have made near universal coverage a top priority of their bills.




Senate Pressing Insurers on the Amount of Premiums They Spend on Care

The New York Times

Nov. 2, 2009


Although the health insurance industry likes to cite figures showing that 87 cents of every dollar in premiums is spent on medical claims, a new Senate analysis suggests that for-profit insurance companies are spending much less than that, especially for policies sold to individuals and small businesses.


As Votes Near, Insurers Make Last Stand

Nov. 2, 2009


The insurance industry may still achieve a win, as the health care debate on Capitol Hill is shifting toward the insurers’ major concern, controlling costs.


Wellness/Chronic Care


The City of Too Much Medicine Makes News Again

Nov. 2, 2009


McAllen, Texas, famous for overspending on health care, is now the asthma capital of America. But is it due to illness or inefficiency?



Medicare Experiments To Curb Costs Seldom Implemented on a Broad Scale

Kaiser Health News

Nov. 3, 2009


The Democratic health reform legislation comes studded with cautious plans to test proposals reining in Medicare costs. But history suggests that even if the experiments are successful, the odds aren't high that their lessons will be applied to the entire program.


Reform efforts


Reid Reassures Left Lieberman on Board

The Hill
Nov. 2, 2009


Sen. Joe Lieberman has reached a private understanding with Majority Leader Harry Reid that he will not block a final vote on healthcare reform, according to two sources briefed on the matter.


Democrats' Concerns Over Abortion May Imperil Health Bill

The Washington Post

Nov. 3, 2009


While House leaders are moving toward a vote on health-care legislation by the end of the week, enough Democrats are threatening to oppose the measure over the issue of abortion to create a question about its passage.

Tags: health care reform, Health Policy, Health Policy

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