KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

First Edition: September 17, 2009

Today's headlines focus on two clear story lines: First, the long-awaited and much-anticipated Baucus health overhaul measure was unveiled yesterday; second, it's reception was only lukewarm.

Baucus Plan Gives A Nod To GOP Ideas
Republicans denounced the Democrats' latest health care proposal-even though some elements of their ideas are embedded in the plan (Kaiser Health News).

How Republicans Would Overhaul The Health System: The Wish List
While Republican leaders don't have a unified health care overhaul plan, the rank and file have produced a number of bills and ideas, including several overhaul proposals that would reshape the health care system (Kaiser Health News).

Coburn Bill Would Create Panel To Oversee Quality
Republicans have criticized Democrats for proposing numerous panels to oversee health care, but one leading Republican health care bill would create its own commission and office to help set medical quality guidelines. And that has raised eyebrows among some conservatives (Kaiser Health News).

Chasm In Congress Over How Much Individuals Should Pay For Health Care
How much can people afford to pay for health care? That question is at the heart of the current debate in Congress about a health care overhaul. Yet there is not a firm consensus among lawmakers, economists and health policy experts-and that is complicating efforts to come up with a common approach (Kaiser Health News).

Baucus Offers Health Plan But Lacks G.O.P. Support
The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday unveiled his long-awaited plan to remake the nation's health care system and insure millions of Americans. But he did not win support from a single Republican despite tailoring his proposal to be less costly and to extend the reach of government less than other health bills moving through Congress (The New York Times).

Sen. Max Baucus Unveils His Healthcare Overhaul Plan
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) released the crucial moderate alternative Wednesday in the struggle to refashion America's healthcare system, a $856-billion bill that includes a mix of sweeping new insurance regulations but no government-run plan (Los Angeles Times).

From Baucus, A Bill That May Weather The Blows
On the surface, it appears that no one is happy with Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) -- and that may be the best news President Obama has had in months (The Washington Post).

Baucus Measure Would Expand Care Without Adding To Deficit
A year-long effort by senators to draft a bipartisan overhaul of the nation's health-care system on Wednesday yielded the only congressional proposal that would extend coverage to millions of uninsured Americans while making good on President Obama's pledge not to add "one dime" to budget deficits (The Washington Post).

Breaking Down The Baucus Bill
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) worked for months to find common ground with Republicans on health care reform - but when he released his long-anticipated proposal Wednesday, the real problem quickly came into focus (Politico).

Senate Bill Sets Lines For Health Showdown
The major new health-care overhaul bill that landed in the Senate on Wednesday sets the lines for a fall showdown over taxes, spending and coverage for millions of uninsured Americans (The Wall Street Journal).

Ganging Up On Baucus: Senator's Plan Garners Bipartisan Grumbles
Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) finally introduced his much-anticipated healthcare reform bill Wednesday - and was rewarded with a chorus of disapproval from both the left and the right (The Hill).

Baucus Health Care Bill Gets Lukewarm Reception
A long-awaited plan to revamp health care got a tepid response from lawmakers Wednesday, underscoring the challenge President Obama confronts as his top priority enters a critical new phase (USA Today).

Deep Divisions Over Long-Awaited Health Care Plan
President Barack Obama's call for an overhaul of the nation's health care system gained fresh momentum with the introduction of long-delayed Senate legislation to rein in spiraling medical costs and require nearly everyone to be carry health insurance (The Associated Press).

All Sides Go On Attack As Senator Issues Health Plan
Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, released his long-awaited health care proposal yesterday without the bipartisan support he had sought over months of painstaking negotiations, only to see it attacked from every corner of the political spectrum (The Boston Globe).

For Democrats, 60 Senators Is Magic Number For Health Bill
The unveiling of a compromise health care proposal has Senate Democrats pondering a daunting mathematical challenge: how to keep all 59 Democrats united and attract at least one Republican to pass an overhaul measure (The New York Times).

CBO: Baucus Healthcare Plan Would Cut Deficit
Democratic Sen. Max Baucus's newly unveiled healthcare bill would cut the federal deficit by $49 billion over the next decade (The Christian Science Monitor).

Guarded Optimism Among Insurers, But Some Health Sectors Remain Skeptical
In an important victory for the insurance industry, Senator Max Baucus's legislative proposal does not call for a government-run health plan that would directly compete with private insurers. Insurance stocks rose on that news Wednesday (The New York Times).

Michelle Obama Turns To Health Care
Pushing for health care reform didn't turn out so well for the last first lady in a Democratic White House. But with a retooled staff, and an under-the-radar summer behind her, Michelle Obama plans a packed autumn that aides say will include a "dedicated focus" on health insurance reform - the same issue that brought such headaches to Hillary Clinton (Politico).

In Public Health Bill, A Contagion Of Fear
The banner, bold and provocative, was tattooed with a syringe, skull and crossbones, and a call to action: "Say no to forced vaccination" (The Boston Globe).

Sign up to receive this list of First Edition headlines via email. Check out all of Kaiser Health News' email options including First Edition and Breaking News alerts on our Subscriptions page.

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.