February 9, 2010

February 9: Health Care Reform News

By Kelley Luckstein

Top stories


On Health Bill, G.O.P.’s Road Is a New Map

The New York Times

Feb. 9, 2010


When Republicans take President Obama up on his invitation to hash out their differences over health care this month, they will carry with them a fairly well-developed set of ideas intended to make health insurance more widely available and affordable, by emphasizing tax incentives and state innovations, with no new federal mandates and only a modest expansion of the federal safety net.


No High Hopes for Health Care Summit

Feb. 9, 2010


Immediately after President Barack Obama announced a bipartisan health reform summit, Democrats and Republicans made clear they have almost no expectation the half-day meeting can break a bitter yearlong standoff.


Top House Republicans Throw Cold Water on Health-Care Summit

The Washington Post
Feb. 9, 2010


Leading House Republicans raised the prospect Monday night that they might refuse to participate in President Obama's proposed health care summit if the White House chooses not to scrap the existing reform bills and start over.


Leverage Sought In Health Summit

The Wall Street Journal
Feb. 9, 2010

Both the White House and congressional Republicans see opportunity in an upcoming bipartisan summit on health care, with the GOP given a chance to spotlight its ideas and President Barack Obama having a fresh chance to invigorate the languishing legislation.

Bills Stalled, Hospitals Fear Rising Unpaid Care

The New York Times

Feb. 9, 2010


While the debate continues in Washington, health care systems nationwide struggle to offset money spent to treat patients who cannot afford to pay their bills. Highlights the experience of Park Nicollet Health Services.


Health Spending Projections Through 2019: The Recession’s Impact Continues

Health Affairs

Feb. 4, 2010


The economic recession and rising unemployment—plus changing demographics and baby boomers aging into Medicare—are among the factors expected to influence health spending during 2009–2019.




Calif. Insurer's Rate Increases Draw Attention of Federal Government

The Washington Post
Feb. 8, 2010

President Obama’s secretary of health and human services fired off a sharply worded letter to a California insurer Monday, demanding to know why it is raising rates for individual policyholders by as much as 39 percent.

Study: Health Costs Higher Where Hospital Competition Is Lower

The Wall Street Journal
Feb. 8, 2010


Spending by private insurers tends to be higher when the hospital market is less competitive, a new study finds.




Surgical Checklist Saves Money, Lives

Feb. 8, 2010


A feature report on Dr. Atul Gawande's new book, "The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right," which grew out of work he did for the World Health Organization, which asked him to help them find a way to reduce deaths in surgery.


Insurer Plays Judge on Cancer Care

The Wall Street Journal
Feb. 9, 2010


UnitedHealthcare, one of the nation's biggest insurance companies, has decided to take a more active role in the care of its policy holders who are being treated for several types of cancer.


AHRQ Targets Care Coordination

Fierce Healthcare

Feb. 8, 2010


Care coordination is the featured topic of the latest issue of the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ) Health Care Innovations Exchange, which is a program AHRQ initiated to speed the development and adoption of innovations in healthcare delivery. Coordinating care between healthcare settings is vital to avoid duplicated efforts, conflicting care plans and medication mismanagement, including overuse, underuse and misuse of medicines.

State news


Health Care Plan for Poor Adults on Fast Track in Minnesota Senate

St. Paul Pioneer Press

Feb. 8, 2010

A bill to rescue a state-run health care program for the poor took its first hesitant step Monday toward becoming law. Authored by Sen. Linda Berglin, DFL-Minneapolis, the roughly $320 million bill would restore coverage, now set to expire at the end of March, for those earning less than $7,800 a year. A companion bill is working its way through the House.

Reform efforts

Gregg Proposes Starting Points for Bipartisan Talks
The New York Times – Prescriptions blog
Feb. 8, 2010

Senator Judd Gregg, Republican of New Hampshire, praised President Obama’s call for a bipartisan summit meeting on health care legislation and suggested that there are two plans that could serve as a basis for compromise: a proposal that he developed called “Coverage, Prevention, Reform” — C.P.R., for short — and a bill put forward by Senators Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, and Bob Bennett, Republican of Utah.

Second Chance to Get Healthcare Right
The Hill – Op-ed
Feb. 8, 2010


R. Bruce Josten, executive vice president of government affairs for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, writes that “America desperately needs healthcare reform and Congress now has what so many Americans are striving for — an opportunity to start over and get things right. It’s time for everyone to come back to the table and work on a healthcare reform package that’s good for families, good for businesses and good for America.”

Tags: health care reform, Health IT, Health Policy

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