December 3, 2009

December 3: Health Care Reform News

By Kelley Luckstein


Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland make a lasting impression in national health debate

President Barack Obama's visit to the Cleveland Clinic this summer is making a lasting national impression. Since the president held up the region's largest health system as a model for high-quality and cost-efficient care, the media's spotlight has shined on the Clinic and, in turn, Cleveland…


The Clinic's President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Toby Cosgrove also has made himself a visible voice on Congress' health reform efforts this year, testifying in a Senate hearing, and most recently speaking out about current proposals that do not do enough to address the rapid rise in health care costs…Kent Seltman, former director of marketing at the well-known Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, said that such brands are built over generations…



"The Mayo Clinic brand -- like all great health care brands, including the Cleveland Clinic -- is carried by word of mouth, by satisfied patients," Seltman said.


Cleveland Plain Dealer  by Sarah Jane Tribble, 12/2/09




Top stories


Senate Breaks Health Stalemate; First Votes Today

The New York Times

Dec. 3, 2009


Senate Democrats and Republicans said they had broken an impasse over the seemingly simple question of how and when to vote on the first amendments to a sweeping health care bill.


Democrats Market New Public Options, but Securing 60 Votes Remains Elusive

The Hill

Dec. 3, 2009


The public option has gone through several stages of evolution this year, but it could soon face extinction unless one of the new versions picks up political momentum.


A Perspective on Current Health Reform Issues From Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic Health Policy Center

Dec. 2, 2009


Yesterday, the Mayo Clinic Health Policy Center sent a new communication to all members of Congress and posted the document online.




House Panel Split on Mammogram Guidelines
The Wall Street Journal

Dec. 2, 2009


Democrats on a House panel offered a measure of sympathy for the federal task force that recommended less-frequent mammograms, while Republicans said the task force's message was wrong and could lead to unnecessary deaths, the Wall Street Journal reports.


Hospitals Getting More Heart Attack Patients Critical Care Within 90 Minutes of ER Arrival

AP/Minneapolis Star Tribune

Dec. 2, 2009


Hospitals are giving faster care to lots more heart attack patients, a speed-up sure to be saving lives.


Wellness/Chronic Care


Obesity will be taking years off our lives, study finds

Minneapolis Star Tribune
Dec. 2, 2009


A new study predicts that as smoking rates decline and life expectancy increases, obesity figures will rise, ultimately contributing to a poorer quality of life.


State news


California Doctors Group Opposes U.S. Senate's Healthcare Plan

The Los Angeles Times
Dec. 3, 2009


The California Medical Assn. says it would increase costs of services and restrict access for elderly and low-income people.


Reform efforts


AARP Backs Democrats in Senate Health Care Fight
The Washington Post
Dec. 3, 2009


With a Senate showdown looming, the politically potent AARP rode to the rescue of Democrats on Wednesday, supporting $460 billion in Medicare cuts to help pay for landmark health care legislation.


New England Journal of Medicine

Dec. 2, 2009


Recent articles on health care reform published in the NEJM include:


Settling in for a Long Debate, John K. Iglehart
Getting the Facts Straight on Health Care Reform, Jonathan Gruber, Ph.D.
Leveling the Field — Ensuring Equity through National Health Care Reform, Bruce Siegel, M.D., and Lea Nolan, M.A.
America’s Safety Net and Health Care Reform — What Lies Ahead?, Irwin Redlener, M.D., and Roy Grant, M.A.
Abortion Politics and Health Insurance Reform, George J. Annas, J.D., M.P.H.


Prescription drugs


Marketing Drugs to Consumers

The New York Times

Dec. 2, 2009


The Congressional Budget Office released a report on how pharmaceutical companies market prescription drugs, a subject that has received some scrutiny during the debate on ways to control health care spending.




New Survey: 'Cadillac Tax' Would Force Employers To Trim Health Insurance Costs

Kaiser Health News
Dec. 2, 2009

Two-thirds of employers would raise deductibles, change insurers or scale back coverage to avoid the so-called Cadillac tax on high-cost benefits proposed in the Senate Democrats’ health care bill, a survey to be released Thursday by consulting firm Mercer says.


Health Information Technology


Feds Offering $235 Million to Model Health IT Communities

HealthLeaders Media

Dec. 3, 2009


Health and Human Service Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced Wednesday that $235 million in funds are being made available to "help us get a better handle on how health information technology will improve the quality care that Americans get." The grants will support 15 "beacon communities" at the forefront of the new technology.


Tags: health care reform, Health Policy, Health Policy

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