KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Regional Health Care Experts Weigh In On Health Reform Efforts

Health experts and officials from around America are weighing in on the health care reform efforts in Congress.

The Grand Junction (Colo.) Daily Sentinel: "'The things that really affect the delivery of health care, the cost-containment mechanisms, have yet to be determined (in the Senate Finance Committee bill)," said Steve ErkenBrack, president of Grand Junction-based Rocky Mountain Health Plans. Getting everyone to pay into the system is essential he said (Harmon, 10/13).

A forum in Bemidji, Minn., - about 130 miles east of Fargo, N.D., - featured experts and lawmakers pushing for a national public option in health reform, The Bemidji Pioneer reports. "About 70 people heard a panel of about 10 health care professionals and lawmakers plug the so-called 'public option,' the President Barack Obama-supported call for a public health plan to compete with the insurance industry" (Swenson, 10/14).

The Associated Press/The Charleston, (W. Va.) Gazette reports that the public option was also a topic at a forum in Charleston. "Several groups were part of the forum at the state Culture Center, focused on the various proposals now under debate in Congress." Groups at the forum were split on inclusion of the public option in a health reform bill (Messina, 10/13).

Nashville Public Radio reports that Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., said states should bear some of the cost of expanded insurance coverage as part of health care reform: "'I worry if we make it completely free to the states, and the feds pay 100%, that would void the federal/state partnership. It would no longer be a partnership. It would be a federal program'" (Farmer, 10/13).

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