December 18, 2009

December 18: Health Care reform News

By Kelley Luckstein

Health-reform legislation would accomplish more than critics admit

The simple fact is that insuring tens of millions must initially raise health-care spending. How else could the previously uninsured enjoy an increase in health-care services? It is, however, fair to ask whether the bills under consideration pay for those added costs and promise credibly to slow the long-term growth of health-care spending…


It is easy to write about the need to transform health care and the evils of the fee-for-service system…it does not, as the proposed legislation would do, help to spread the team-oriented mode of health-care delivery that makes the Mayo Clinic both a high-quality and a low-cost deliverer of health care. It does not, as the proposed legislation would do, encourage all health providers to use health information technology as effectively as do Utah's Intermountain Healthcare and the Department of Veterans Affairs.


Washington Post by Henry Aaron, 12/18/09



Senate Democrats Block GOP Filibuster

The Washington Post

December 18, 2009

Senate Republicans failed early Friday in their bid to filibuster a massive Pentagon bill that funds the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, an unusual move designed to delay President Obama's health care legislation.

Health Deadline Obstacles Pile Up


December 17, 2009


With the clock ticking down on health care reform, Senator Harry Reid has until Saturday to strike a 60-vote compromise if Democrats hope to meet a Christmas Eve deadline - Reid still had no legislative text and no cost analysis to release.


Liberal Revolt on Health Care Stings White House

The New York Times

December 18, 2009


 President Obama has cast himself as a cold-eyed pragmatist, willing to compromise in exchange for votes - now ideology, an uprising on the Democratic left, is smacking the pragmatic president in the face.




Holding Doctors Accountable for Medical Errors

The New York Times

December 18, 2009


Recently, some health care safety experts have begun questioning the assumption that only health care systems, and not individual clinicians, could be held accountable for medical mistakes.


Yes We Still Can

Progressive Change Campaign Committee

December 18, 2009


There is a new push and web site by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which previously organized thousands of 2008 Obama staffers, volunteers, and donors around the public option.




Health Gap Widens Between Blacks and Whites in Chicago

Chicago Tribune

December 18, 2009


A new study has found a widening gulf in the health status of blacks and whites in Chicago and comes even as disparities between the two races nationally have remained relatively constant.



Supreme Court Delays Medical Malpractice Damage Cap Ruling

The Chicago Tribune

December 18, 2009


The Illinois Supreme Court today did not rule as expected on whether the state's four-year-old medical malpractice reform survives. The much-anticipated ruling is being watched closely by the health care industry and employers who see caps on damages as a way to tame rising health care costs.



Dems Vow to Close Medicare Donut Hole


December 17, 2009

Medicare's coverage gap for prescription drugs has steadily gotten bigger since the benefit's inception. But if Democrats have their way on health care overhaul, the dreaded "doughnut hole" will shrink and go away altogether by 2019.



A Race to Win One More Vote

The New York Times

December 18, 2009


The White House and Senate Democratic leaders seem willing to give Senator Ben Nelson just about anything he wants to win his support of major health care legislation - anything but the item at the top of Mr. Nelson’s wish-list: air-tight restrictions on insurance coverage for abortions.


Additional Coverage:

Sen. Nelson Holds up Health Bill - The Wall Street Journal


Pass the Bill

The New York Times - Op-Ed

December 18, 2009


A message to progressives: Hang Senator Joe Lieberman in effigy, declare that you’re disappointed in and/or disgusted with President Obama, demand a change in Senate rules - but, meanwhile, pass the bill.


Senate Health Care Bill Now Relies on Regulation

The Los Angeles Times

December 18, 2009


When Senate Democratic leaders agreed this week to remove a public insurance plan from their massive healthcare bill, they did more than quash a liberal dream of expanding the government safety net, they effectively pinned their hopes of guaranteeing coverage to all Americans on a far more conventional prescription: government regulation.


The Hardest Call

The New York Times - Op-Ed

December 18, 2009


If I were a senator forced to vote today, I’d vote no on health care reform.


’Cadillac Care’ is Largely a Myth

The Washington Post - Op-Ed

December 18, 2009

I've got doubts about the folks in Washington who want to impose a stiff excise tax on what they call "Cadillac Care" health plans to raise revenue and reduce health spending.


Democrats on the Health Care Precipice

The Wall Street Journal - Op-Ed

December 18, 2009


Enacting health care legislation in the face of overwhelming public disapproval may cost the party its chance of forging a sustainable majority.




Unions Frustrated with Senate Health Care Bill

DC Examiner

December 18, 2009


Politically powerful labor unions panned the Senate health care bill but stopped short of calling for its demise.




HHS Aims to Advance Research with National Claims Database

iHealth Beat

December 17, 2009


This week, HHS announced a project to build a nationwide database of claims information in an effort to strengthen research on health trends and treatment outcomes.




Doctors Seek Aid from Business Schools

The Wall Street Journal

December 18, 2009


Looking for help through business school training is a move many physicians are making to cope with the ever-changing pace and paperwork of modern day health care.

Tags: health care reform, Health Policy, Health Policy

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