December 1, 2009

December 1: Health Care Reform Coverage

By Kelley Luckstein


Top stories


No Big Cost Rise in U.S. Premiums Is Seen in Study

The New York Times
Nov. 30, 2009


The Congressional Budget Office said Monday that the Senate health bill could significantly reduce costs for many people who buy health insurance on their own, and that it would not substantially change premiums for the vast numbers of Americans who receive coverage from large employers.

Related: Senate Health Bill Gets a Boost, The Washington Post

The Great CBO Debate: Does Reform Bill Cut or Create Costs?, HealthLeaders Media

Some Health Premiums to Rise, The Wall Street Journal

Sharp Tones Kick Off Senate Debate on Health Care Bill
Dec. 1, 2009

A historic debate on health care opened in the Senate on Monday on a fiercely partisan note, as Democrats and Republicans traded shots over the $848 billion bill and the breakdown of trust between the parties.

Reid Sees a Holiday Blitz on Health Bill

USA Today
Dec. 1, 2009


Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid predicted Monday he'll have the votes to enact a sweeping rewrite of the nation's health care laws following a marathon debate that could keep the Senate in session every weekend until Christmas.




To Curb Repeat Hospital Stays, Pay Doctors

The New York Times
Nov. 30, 2009


Sandeep Jauhar, M.D., a cardiologist and the author of “Intern: A Doctor’s Initiation,” writes that policy makers will have a difficult time achieving cost-cutting goals unless physicians view them as their own.


Study Questions Safety of Mammograms for Young Women at High Risk of Cancer

The New York Times
Dec. 1, 2009

For young women who have a high risk of breast cancer because of genetic mutations or family history, the radiation from yearly mammograms may make the risk even higher, researchers reported at a radiology conference on Monday.

Wellness/Chronic Care


Prognosis: Numbers Rise in a Diabetes Forecast

The New York Times
Nov. 30, 2009


The number of Americans with diabetes will nearly double over the next 25 years, while the cost of care will almost triple, as patients live longer and develop more of the disease’s long-term complications, a new analysis said.

State news


MA: 6 Hospitals to Sue State Over Payment Shortfalls

The Boston Globe

Dec. 1, 2009


Six Massachusetts community hospitals, squeezed by the economic downturn and the state budget crunch, are set to file a lawsuit seeking millions of dollars from the state for unpaid healthcare services.




AHA: Burden of Undercompensated Care Continues To Climb

HealthLeaders Media

Dec. 1, 2009


Medicare and Medicaid underpayments to the nation's hospitals relative to the cost of care rose more than eight-fold, from $3.8 billion in 2000 to $32.4 billion in 2008, the American Hospital Association reported in its latest release of annual reimbursement fact sheets. Click here for the fact sheet (PDF).


Reform efforts


Senators Begin Offering Amendments

The New York Times
Nov. 30, 2009

A summary of the first amendments submitted to the health care legislation, including an amendment from Sen. John McCain to remove all of the Democrats’ proposals to slow the growth in Medicare spending.

Health Care Reform's Control of Costs Questioned

Dec. 1, 2009


The White House has started to aggressively push back against a growing narrative that pending health reform legislation doesn’t do enough to control spiraling health costs.


Business Roundtable Report Specifies Health Care Reforms That Could Reduce Costs And Those That Could Generate Increases

Medical News Today
Nov. 30, 2009


A new report released by Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies, shows that key components of health care reform could slow the growth of health care costs and offer real savings for companies and their employees. At the same time, the report identifies those proposals that could accelerate costs. Click here to read the report (PDF).


Health Reform: Insights from Around the World

The Commonwealth Fund
Nov. 30, 2009


While most of the health reform debate has focused on ways to strengthen our uniquely American private–public system of financing health care, the debate has also been informed by insights from other countries' health systems, say The Commonwealth Fund's Cathy Schoen, Karen Davis, and Robin Osborn.




Searchable Database of Patient Records to Go Commercial

American Medical Association

Nov. 30, 2009


A plan to make a system developed at the Cleveland Clinic available to other health entities has raised questions about the adequacy of privacy protections.


Tags: health care reform, Health Policy, Health Policy

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