January 7, 2010

January 7: Health Care Reform Coverage

By Kelley Luckstein

Top stories


Obama Urges Excise Tax on High-Cost Insurance

The New York Times
Jan. 6, 2010


President Obama told House Democratic leaders at a meeting on Wednesday that they should include a tax on high-priced insurance policies favored by the Senate in the final version of far-reaching health care legislation, aides said. Related: Pelosi Still Not Sold on Cadillac Tax, Politico


Health-Care Reform Bill's Proposed Tax on High-Cost Plans Raises Questions

The Washington Post

Jan. 7, 2010


With Congress on the verge of imposing a new tax on high-cost health insurance plans, skeptics continue to raise questions about who would be hit hardest and whether healthcare spending would be limited as much as proponents say.


More Health Aid Gets Backing

The Wall Street Journal

Jan. 7, 2010


The White House supports an effort to tweak the health bill so it makes insurance more affordable for the lowest earners. But the change would drive up the cost of the overhaul, an area where lawmakers have little room to maneuver




Hospitals Could Stop Infections by Tackling Bacteria Patients Bring In, Studies Find

The New York Times

Jan. 6, 2010


The studies suggest relatively simple ways to kill bacteria before surgery using screening, scrubbing and pretreating.


State news


Schwarzenegger: California Needs a ‘Sweetheart Deal,’ Too

The New York Times
Jan. 6, 2010


Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says proposed health care legislation will saddle California with billions of dollars in additional costs. He wants the kind of deal Senator Ben Nelson got for Nebraska.


Fla.: Jackson Health System Halts Dialysis for Poor Patients

The Miami Herald

Jan. 6, 2010


Financially strapped Miami-based Jackson Health System has stopped paying for dialysis treatments for 175 poor patients with failing kidneys. Jackson, Miami-Dade's County's government health system intended to be a safety net for the poor and uninsured, said it expects to save $4.2 million by stopping payments for outpatient dialysis treatment for the 175 patients. Of those, other avenues for care have been found for all but 41, said a Jackson spokesman.


Reform efforts


Pelosi Says Lawmakers 'Very Close' to Melding Health Bills

The Wall Street Journal

Jan. 6, 2010


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said lawmakers were "very close" to resolving differences between the House and Senate health-care bills and sending a final version to President Barack Obama.


Health Care’s Biggest Hypocrite — Or Hero

The New York Times

Jan. 6, 2010

In an opinion piece, Timothy Egan says Mitt Romney should have the courage of his convictions, even if it puts him in Democratic territory on health care.

Abortion Foe Defies Party on Health Care Bill

The New York Times
Jan. 6, 2010


A profile on Representative Bart Stupak.


New England Journal of Medicine

January 2010


Recent NEJM articles on health care reform include:


Ranking 37th — Measuring the Performance of the U.S. Health Care System, Christopher J.L. Murray, M.D., D.Phil., and Julio Frenk, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.
Health Care Reform and the Need for Comparative-Effectiveness Research, Alvin I. Mushlin, M.D., and Hassan Ghomrawi, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Patient-Centered Medical Homes in Ontario, Walter W. Rosser, M.D., Jack M. Colwill, M.D., Jan Kasperi, R.N., M.H.Sc., and Lynn Wilson, M.D.
Payment Reform — The Need to Harmonize Approaches in Medicare and the Private Sector, Peter V. Lee, J.D., Robert A. Berenson, M.D., and John Tooker, M.D., M.B.A.

Ensuring the Fiscal Sustainability of Health Care Reform, Michael E. Chernew, Ph.D., Lindsay Sabik, B.A., Amitabh Chandra, Ph.D., and Joseph P. Newhouse, Ph.D.

Googling Ourselves — What Physicians Can Learn from Online Rating Sites, Shaili Jain, M.D.
Nearing Negotiations — Reconciling Key Differences between House and Senate Reform Measures, John K. Iglehart


Health Information Technology


Electronic Medical Records: Extra Payments Designed to Get More Doctors on Board

The Chicago Tribune

Jan. 7, 2010


Private firms are beginning to offer incentives to help doctors finance their electronic health record systems, which can cost several thousand dollars even for a small practice.


Tags: health care reform, Health Policy, Health Policy

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