December 8, 2009

December 8: Health Care Reform News

By Kelley Luckstein

Top stories


Liberal Senators Press for Expansion of Medicare

The New York Times
Dec. 7, 2009


In return for concessions on their proposal for a new government-run health insurance plan, liberal Democratic senators pushed Monday for expansion of Medicare and Medicaid and more stringent federal regulation of the insurance industry. Related:

Public Option Compromise Takes Shape, Politico

Senate Turns to Medicare, Medicaid, The Wall Street Journal


Watered-down 'public plan' emerges in Senate
The Washington Post
Dec. 8, 2009


They may still call it a "public plan," but private insurers - not the government - would offer coverage under a compromise Democrats are considering to win Senate passage of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.


Senate Turns to Health Bill's Major Obstacles
The Washington Post
Dec. 8, 2009

Seeking to resolve two contentious issues blocking health-care reform in the Senate, lawmakers began consideration Monday of an amendment to restrict abortion coverage, while Democrats closed in on alternatives to the public-insurance option.

Economists Growing More Wary of the Senate Health Bill

Time Magazine
Dec. 7, 2009


A few weeks back, the White House was jubilant when 23 prominent economists sent a letter to President Obama endorsing key elements of the Senate health care bill. Today, nearly all of those same economists and a few others--among this group, Nobel Prize winners, former presidents of the American Economic Association and former directors of the Congressional Budget Office--sent another letter, this one to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Click here to read the letter.




Senator Grassley Seeks Financial Details From Medical Groups

The New York Times
Dec. 7, 2009


Senator Charles E. Grassley has asked the American Medical Association and other major advocacy organizations about sources of income from drug and device makers.


University of Miami-Jackson Memorial Effort Would Cut Antibiotic Use

The Miami Herald

Dec. 8, 2009


University of Miami-Jackson Memorial Hospital team is working to improve patient care and cut costs by making sure oft-overused antibiotics are prescribed only when needed. The program serves as a small example of how such evidence-based medicine can provide good care without increasing healthcare costs.


Groups Try Simple Steps to Avoid Hospital Rebound

AP/Yahoo News
Dec. 8, 2009


A major push is under way around the country to cut rehospitalizations, in part by arming patients with simple steps to keep their recovery on track — like getting past harried receptionists for quicker follow-up doctor visits, and reducing medication confusion.


Symptoms: Infections Lead to More Deaths in I.C.U.
The New York Times
Dec. 7, 2009

Just over half of all patients in intensive care units around the world have infections, and they are more than twice as likely to die in the units as patients who are not infected, a new study has found.

State news


Is 'Opting Out' a Real Option? Would Minnesota 'Opt Out'?

Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Dec. 7, 2009


The idea that Minnesota could 'opt out' of the controversial government insurance program at the center of a proposed national health overhaul has received a push from no less a figure than Gov. Tim Pawlenty.


Utah: Pilot Project Aimed at Overuse of Health Care

The Salt Lake Tribune
Dec. 7, 2009

Changing the way your doctors get paid may improve your health care -- and make it cheaper. It's an idea that Utah plans to test in what may be one of the largest health care delivery and payment reform experiments in the country.

Report: W.Va. Could Save Billions a Year With Medicaid Expansion

The Charleston Gazette
Dec. 7, 2009


West Virginia's health-care system could save up to $2.2 billion a year beginning in 2014 with an aggressive expansion of Medicaid and other health reforms, according to an actuarial report presented to state legislators Monday.


Reform efforts


Lieberman Riles Many With Role in Health Debate

The Washington Post

Dec. 7, 2009


Sen. Joseph. I. Lieberman (Conn.) has once again inserted himself into the middle of an inflamed partisan debate, raising questions about his motives, his ego and his fickle allegiance to the Democratic Party.

Tags: health care reform, Health Policy, Health Policy

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