February 4, 2010

February 4: Health Care Reform News

By Kelley Luckstein

Top stories


Public Health Tab to Hit Milestone

The Wall Street Journal

Feb. 4, 2010


For the first time, government programs next year will account for more than half of all U.S. health-care spending, federal actuaries predict, as the weak economy sends more people into Medicaid and slows growth of private insurance. Click here to access the report.



Report: Feds to Pay More Than Half of Health Costs, AP/The Washington Post

Health Care’s Share of U.S. Economy Rose at Record Rate, The New York Times – Prescriptions blog


Obama suggests Republicans could have a role in health-care bill

The Washington Post
Feb. 4, 2010


President Obama urged congressional Democrats "to finish the job on healthcare," and suggested that Republicans could be enlisted to play at least some role in negotiating a final bill.


Wellness/Chronic Care


Obama's Anti-Obesity Initiatives Mirror Health Plan Programs, Say Insurers

HealthLeaders Media

Feb. 4, 2010

Health plans are supporting the Obama Administration's 2011 proposed budget in areas of combating childhood obesity, initiating wellness programs, creating smoking cessation programs. The largest allotment is $1 billion to improve children's access to healthy meals through reauthorization of the school meals program and other child nutrition programs.

State news


Stakes high for Calif. in health care reform

AP/Yahoo News

Feb. 4, 2010


Among states, California arguably has the most to gain from an overhaul of its health care system: it has the greatest number of uninsured residents in the country and the largest public insurance program for the poor, which struggles to serve 6.5 million people while reimbursing doctors at one of the nation's lowest rates.


Md. Adults Under 30 Could Get Parent's Health Care


Feb. 3, 2010

A bill pending in Maryland could allow young adults to stay on their parents' health care plan until age 30.

Insurance Cap Ban Proposal Draws Emotional Testimony
Maine Public Broadcasting Network

Feb. 3, 2010


The Maine legislature is considering a ban on lifetime and annual payment caps on health insurance.


Reform efforts


Health Official Can’t Guarantee Openness in Talks

The New York Times

Feb. 4, 2010


Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, told Congress that she could not guarantee greater openness in negotiations over legislation to remake the nation's healthcare system. Sebelius said administration officials provided “technical support” to Congress, but did not control the negotiations. Her comments came just hours after President Obama affirmed the need for openness in efforts by the administration and Congress to finish work on a health reform.


Poll: Americans Doubtful Health Overhaul Will Pass

New York Times – Prescriptions blog

Feb. 3, 2010

Most Americans think health care legislation is doomed, according to a survey released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center. But a growing, if still small, percentage of people are becoming more optimistic that it may pass.

Health Information Technology


IBM Continues Expansion into Health IT

HealthLeaders Media

Feb. 4, 2010


IBM has signed a definitive agreement to acquire privately held Initiate Systems, a Chicago-based provider of information-sharing software for healthcare organizations and government. The deal is expected to be finalized by the end of March.

It's the 30th acquisition IBM has made in the information and analytics arena, as Big Blue positions itself for the release of about $20 billion in federal stimulus money for the comprehensive, nationwide adoption of electronic medical records.



Most Hospitals Don't Budget, Plan for Social Media

Fierce Healthcare

Feb. 3, 2010

While a majority of hospitals (nine out of 10) have jumped on the social media bandwagon, a good portion of those facilities (two-thirds) have no formal ideas for how that media should be used, a study released in January by Greystone.Net found. Some healthcare bloggers, however, fear that the number of hospitals with a plan could be even less. 


Tags: health care reform, Health Policy, Health Policy

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