November 24, 2009

November 24: Health Care Reform News

By Kelley Luckstein

Senators highlight key points of health-care reform

Even with this weekend's historic Senate vote to allow debate on the Democrats' health-care reform bill, it is clear that plenty of obstacles remain…


Sen. Al Franken managed to get a provision in the bill that would require insurance companies to spend a set portion of their insurance premium dollars on actual health-care services…


Meanwhile, Sen. Amy Klobuchar praised the inclusion to her Medicare reform proposal in the bill…


Mayo Clinic backs Klobuchar's payment reform proposal. Unlike a House version, this payment reform proposal is not contingent on a study and is not subject to a potential vote by Congress.


Post-Bulletin by Heather Carlson, 11/23/09

Top stories

Debate Over Healthcare Reform, Climate Change Head for December Collision
The Hill
Nov. 24, 2009

Healthcare reform and climate change will conflict directly next month when lawmakers from around the world gather in Denmark for the United Nations climate change conference and the Senate debates a healthcare bill.

Dems: Failure is Not an Option on Health Care
AP/Google News
Nov. 23, 2009

Failure is not an option on health care, a leading Democratic senator said Monday, even as Republicans turned up the heat on moderates who hold the fate of the legislation in their hands.

Poll: Public Option Not Public’s Priority
The New York Times
Nov. 23, 2009

Several lawmakers are staking their support for a health care overhaul on whether or not it creates a government-run health insurance plan — the so-called public option — to compete with private insurers. But a new poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation suggests that even as the public supports a public option, they have other, higher priorities for the health legislation. Click here to see the poll.


Nine Percent of Surgeons Have Made ‘Major’ Errors Recently
The Wall Street Journal
Nov. 23, 2009

A survey that measured burnout among surgeons turned up an interesting detail.

How Do Five Quality and Value Issues Fare Under the Senate Reform Bill?
HealthLeaders Media
Nov. 24, 2009

While approaches to public insurance options and health exchanges have dominated the discussions of the House and Senate healthcare reform bills, issues addressing quality and value have been threaded through the bills, sometimes matching each other, sometimes showing some differences in the individual bills. Here are five examples of quality and value in the Senate reform bill.

Wellness/Chronic Care

Women Are Insistent on Mammograms, Poll Shows
USA Today
Nov. 24, 2009

A vast majority of American women plan to ignore controversial new recommendations about mammograms, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll shows. The poll also shows that most women sharply overestimate their risk of developing the disease.

Reform efforts

Poll: Americans conflicted over health overhaul
AP/Yahoo News
Nov. 24, 2009

Most Americans don't expect a health care overhaul to affect their lives directly, but those who worry about the fallout outnumber those expecting to come out ahead, a poll out Tuesday has found.

Abortion to Be New Flashpoint in Senate Bill
The Wall Street Journal
Nov. 24, 2009


Abortion-rights groups, acknowledging they were caught off guard by a last-minute amendment toughening abortion restrictions in the House healthcare bill, are mobilizing to ensure that doesn't happen in the Senate. Activists hope to flood Washington to rally and lobby on Dec. 2, during the week that Senate floor debate begins.

U.S. Health-Care Companies Have Had a Healthy Decade
The Tennessean
Nov. 24, 2009

Data compiled by MarketWatch show that the 52 health-care companies in the Standard & Poor 500 Index are about to close out the decade with average profits that nearly tripled. That level of money-making seems unlikely to change soon, even if lawmakers pass the legislation that’s working its way through Congress. Experts say there aren’t many reform proposals that would take a significant bite out of health-care profits.

Unions, Business Oppose Tax on 'Cadillac' Care
Business Week
Nov. 23, 2009

In chasing revenue to help pay for health-care reform, Democrats have managed to rally two groups that tend to oppose each other—unions and Big Business. The focus of their ire: a proposed 40% excise tax on high-premium or so-called Cadillac health plans.

Your Waste, My Care
The Washington Post – Op-ed
Nov. 24, 2009

Eugene Robinson writes that the uproar over the on-again, off-again guidelines on when women should have mammograms is proof of the blindingly obvious: Health-care reform that actually controls costs -- rather than just pretending to do so -- would be virtually impossible to achieve.

Tags: health care reform, Health Policy, Health Policy

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