KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

First Edition: May 7, 2010

Today's health policy headlines explore a range of issues -- from how health reform politics are playing in midterm election campaigns to hospital action in the marketplace.   

Groups Vie For $15 Billion In Prevention Money
Kaiser Health News staff writer Julie Appleby reports: "Some groups want the bulk of the money earmarked for programs to target specific diseases or problems that affect millions of Americans, such as obesity, diabetes or smoking" (Kaiser Health News).

Health Challenges Campaigns
Whether you support or oppose it, health care reform is treacherous campaign territory. A series of polls from the Quinnipiac University Polling Center, testing voter opinion on lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the new law, underscore the difficulties of the issue for both Democratic and Republican candidates (Politico).

Dem Challenger Surges Past Lincoln In Fundraising
Lincoln has become one of the most vulnerable politicians in Washington, facing anger from both the right and the left. Republicans have condemned her for supporting the health care overhaul, while groups on the left have criticized her for opposing a government-run insurance option (The Associated Press/Los Angeles Times).

House Dems Stop Short Of Committing To Vote On Health Pricing Bill This Year
House Democrats vowed Thursday to fight for a bill requiring healthcare providers to make their prices clearer for the public, but stopped short of promising that the provision would hit the floor this year (The Hill's blog Briefing Room).

Caritas Deal Has A Secular Option
The private-equity firm proposing to purchase Boston's six Catholic hospitals intends to maintain the hospitals' religious identity, but has also negotiated an escape clause that would allow the firm to end the religious affiliation in exchange for a $25 million donation to charity (The Boston Globe).

City, Owner Clash Over Fate Of D.C. Hospital
The financial woes that pushed a poverty-stricken Washington neighborhood's only general hospital into bankruptcy protection several years ago are rearing their head again, resulting in a battle for control of the facility (The Wall Street Journal's Bankruptcy Beat Blog).

Doctors Seek Help From St. Vincent's
Some doctors from St. Vincent's Hospital in Manhattan fear they won't be covered for malpractice insurance for care they provided while on staff before the hospital's demise. They believe the failed institution has a legal obligation to continue to provide the coverage. The doctors fear they may have to buy their own medical malpractice coverage for the next several years, policies they say can cost $40,000 a year when purchased individually (The Wall Street Journal).

U.S. Facing 'Grievous Harm' From Chemicals In Air, Food, Water, Panel Says
An expert panel that advises the president on cancer said Thursday that Americans are facing "grievous harm" from chemicals in the air, food and water that have largely gone unregulated and ignored. The President's Cancer Panel called for a new national strategy that focuses on such threats in the environment and workplaces (The Washington Post).

Panel Investigates J&J Recalls
Lawmakers requested information on Thursday from regulators about Johnson & Johnson's recall of Children's Tylenol and other over-the-counter pediatric medicines, saying the company's repeated recalls "point to a major problem" with production (Reuters/The New York Times).

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