KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

First Edition: February 23, 2010

Today's headlines focus on President Obama's revamped health reform proposal, what it includes and how Democrats, Republicans and the insurers are reacting to it.

State Regulators Criticize Obama Plan To Create Federal Authority Over Health Insurance Rates
Kaiser Health News staff writers Phil Galewitz and Julie Appleby spoke with three veteran state insurance commissioners and found that "state insurance regulators said President Barack Obama goes too far with his proposal Monday to give the federal government new power to reject health insurance rate increases" (Kaiser Health News).

Health On The Hill - February 22, 2010
Kaiser Health News staff writer Mary Agnes Carey and NPR's Julie Rovner talk with KFF's Jackie Judd about recent health policy developments. Specifically, just days before a bipartisan White House summit on health care, President Obama unveiled a proposal that closely tracks the Senate-passed health legislation with some modifications (Kaiser Health News).

Obama Stays On Offense With Health-Care Proposal
There had been rampant speculation that the White House would narrow its ambitions for health-care legislation after the loss of the Democrats' filibuster-proof Senate majority last month. Instead, the president's proposal is striking for the extent to which it hews to the basic scale and framework of the bills on which Congress has toiled for months (The Washington Post).

Obama Rejects Advice To Shrink Health Proposal
President Barack Obama's health-care proposal is a victory for those in the White House who want to press ahead with ambitious legislation over those who counseled scaling it back (The Wall Street Journal).

Democrats Cautiously Embrace Obama Health Plan
Congressional Democrats cautiously embraced President Barack Obama's new health care plan as their last hope for enacting a comprehensive overhaul. Republicans trashed it, dimming prospects for any deal at the bipartisan health care summit that Obama has scheduled for Thursday to try to jump-start the debate (The Associated Press).

Obama Offers New Health-Care Reform Proposal
President Obama signaled his determination to forge ahead with a Democratic vision of comprehensive health-care reform as he unveiled on Monday an ambitious proposal that would extend coverage to 31 million people, raise taxes on the wealthy and ratchet up regulations on insurers (The Washington Post).

Obama's Health Bill Plan Largely Follows Senate Version
President Obama on Monday issued his own blueprint for a health care overhaul, challenged Republicans to come forward with their ideas and laid the groundwork for an aggressive parliamentary maneuver to pass the legislation using only Democratic votes if this week brings no progress toward a bipartisan solution (The New York Times).

New Health Care Plan, But With Same Old Problems
The White House opened its last-ditch push for health reform Monday by releasing a $950 billion plan that signaled a new phase of hands-on presidential involvement (Politico).

Obama Health Plan Would Monitor Insurance Premiums
For the first time, President Obama has issued his own version of a comprehensive health care bill. Most of its provisions are drawn from earlier Senate or House bills. There is, however, a new wrinkle: a federal panel to regulate insurance premiums (NPR).

Medical Insurers Slam Proposed Supervision
The Obama administration's proposal to create a federal body to oversee insurance premiums drew fire Monday from insurers, which contended it would do little to contain spending and could ruin some companies (The Wall Street Journal).

Obama's Healthcare Plan Gets Chilly GOP Reception
Within moments of the release of President Obama's healthcare plan Monday morning, top Republicans came out swinging (The Christian Science Monitor).

Obama's Health Care Bill Revision Seeks Dem Unity
A $950 billion, 10-year health care proposal released by President Obama on Monday mirrors a bill passed by the Senate last year but revises some of its most contentious provisions, from taxes to Medicare (USA Today).

One Last Big Try On Health
President Obama launched a final drive for a sweeping health care overhaul yesterday, offering a proposal that the White House hopes will help unite squabbling Democrats and, if necessary, could be used to bypass Republicans altogether (The Boston Globe).

Obama Lays Out Goals On Healthcare
In an 11th-hour bid to rally Democrats behind a sweeping healthcare overhaul, President Obama offered his own detailed plan Monday that would expand coverage, tighten regulation of the insurance industry and seek greater efficiencies in the nation's medical system (Los Angeles Times).

Obama Sets Stage For Summit Fight
President Barack Obama unveiled a detailed healthcare proposal on Monday that closely tracked legislation favored by Democrats, setting the stage for a contentious bipartisan summit at the Blair House on Thursday (The Hill).

Charting A Course Around Filibusters
Crafting and passing health-care legislation, which promises to overhaul a sector that accounts for a sixth of the U.S. economy, was always going to be complicated and messy. By all accounts, the effort is poised to get even messier (The Wall Street Journal).

Miami Serves As Model In Medicare Fraud Crackdown
When it comes to health care fraud, schemes that target Medicare are among the most common and lucrative. That's because the $400 billion federal program is a fat and easy target (NPR).

Doctor Training Aided By Drug Industry Cash
More than half of the nation's medical residency programs to train doctors in internal medicine accepted financial support from the drug industry, even though three-fourths of the programs' directors said accepting the aid was "not desirable," a survey found (The New York Times).

Trial Begins Over Lawsuit Targeting Anthem Blue Cross
Insurance giant Anthem Blue Cross refused to pay for a California produce merchant to get a liver transplant in Indiana because the company wanted to save money, a lawyer for the patient told jurors Monday (Los Angeles Times).

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