KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

First Edition: May 14, 2010

Today's headlines suggest that, even as congressional Democrats appear to be suffering from "health reform fatigue" and shying away from other health-related legislation, the G.O.P. is applying newfound vigor and skepticism to the White House's pick to head the agency that runs Medicare and to the administration's claims that the implementation phase of reform is going smoothly.   

Lobbyists Have Long Wish List For New Health Rules
Kaiser Health News staff writers Julie Appleby, Mary Agnes Carey and Phil Galewitz, working in collaboration with The Washington Post, write: "Now that the health care bill is law, an array of groups -- representing doctors, insurers, small businesses and others -- have switched to their post-passage game plans. Among their top goals: Helping shape the all-important regulations being written by the Obama administration. Here's a sampling of their priorities and who will be pushing them" (Kaiser Health News).

Sebelius, Holder: New Health Reform Law Will Help Prevent Medical Fraud
Kaiser Health News staff writer Andrew Villegas reports: "Obama administration officials, touting $2.5 billion recovered from Medicare overpayments and fraud, immediately turned to talk of how health reform could ensure bigger successes in the future" (Kaiser Health News).

Small Business Lobby Joins Challenge To Health Law
The nation's most influential small business lobby is joining a court challenge to President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, arguing that Americans cannot be required under the Constitution to obtain insurance (The Associated Press).

Dems Feel Healthcare Fatigue
Healthcare reform fatigue has set in among Democrats, casting doubt that Congress will move much health-related legislation the rest of this session (The Hill).

GOP Pushes Back On Health Reform
After weeks of letting Democrats try to take control of the health care message, Republicans have gotten back into the game in recent days, threatening to hold up a Medicare nominee and challenging White House claims that reform's start-up is going smoothly (Politico).

Deficit Worries Make It Tough For Dems To Move 'Doc Fix'
House Democrats are struggling with how to prevent cuts to physician payments under Medicare (The Hill).

Insurers, Commissioners Hammer Out Details Of Health-Care Reform
Quick quiz: If you were a regulator interpreting the new requirement that health insurers use at least 80 or 85 percent of their premium dollars to pay medical bills or otherwise improve consumers' health, which of the following expenses would you count toward the quota (The Washington Post).

Health Legislation Aims To Help Employees' Adult Children
Federal workers with adult children moved another step closer to having them covered by employer-sponsored health insurance this year, instead of next, with the introduction of Senate legislation designed to help (The Washington Post).

Doctor Pooling Plan Sparks Fear
A hospital trade association is developing a plan for hospitals around southern California to form a foundation that would supply them with doctors (The Wall Street Journal).

D.C. Jumps At Health-Care Savings In Expanded Medicaid
The District asked the federal government Thursday for permission to add thousands of low-income adults to the Medicaid program, becoming one of the first jurisdictions to respond to an expansion of Medicaid eligibility in the new federal health-care law (The Washington Post).

Mental Care Stays Are Up In Military
Mental health disorders caused more hospitalizations among U.S. troops in 2009 than any other reason according to medical data released recently by the Pentagon. This historic high reflects the growing toll of nearly nine years of war (USA Today).

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