KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

First Edition: February 10, 2010

Today's headlines indicate that health reform is among the issues on the table as President Obama meets with Republican leaders and seeks to 'bridge the partisan divide.'

As Focus Shifts To Jobs, The Uninsured Seek Solutions
As part of the series "Are You Covered," which is a collaboration between NPR and Kaiser Health News, NPR's Debbie Elliott checks back in with Fernando Arriola, a contractor in New Orleans who can't get health coverage. He's adopted an unconventional approach to medical care and is now working to set up a clinic for the uninsured (NPR).

How Health Overhaul Would Affect The Uninsured
KHN staff writer Christopher Weaver, as part of the KHN-NPR "Are You Covered" series, provides a look at what Americans would fall into this category (Kaiser Health News).

In Poll, Republicans Gaining Political Ground On Obama
Obama's overall approval rating is holding steady, with 51 percent of respondents giving him positive marks and 46 percent rating him negatively. On the big domestic issues -- the economy, health care, jobs and the federal budget deficit -- bare majorities of Americans disapprove of the job he is doing (The Washington Post).

Obama Meets With Republicans To Bridge Partisan Divide
Obama outlined issues that could bridge the divide, including job creation, health-care reform, energy and trade. But he extracted few concrete commitments from his GOP visitors (The Washington Post).

Obama Would OK Health Bill Minus Items He Pursued
Signaling he'd meet critics part way on health care, President Barack Obama said Tuesday he's willing to sign a bill even if it doesn't deliver everything he pursued through a year of grinding effort at risk of going down as a dismal failure (The Associated Press).

Obama To GOP: Work With Me
President Barack Obama said Tuesday he's prepared to cut deals with Republicans in order to create jobs and improve the nation's health care system, but he said he's seen few signs so far that the GOP is willing to support any of his policy initiatives (Politico).

Obama, GOP Seek Accord
On health care, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said after the meeting the president should start from scratch. Mr. Obama repeated he was open to new approaches as long as they achieve his goals, and argued that many Republican ideas are already in the pending bills (The Wall Street Journal).

No High Hopes For Health Care Summit
Immediately after President Barack Obama announced a bipartisan health reform summit, Democrats and Republicans made clear they have almost no expectation the half-day meeting can break a bitter yearlong standoff (Politico).

Congress Opens Probe Into Anthem Blue Cross Rate Increases
Congress opened an investigation Tuesday into Anthem Blue Cross' impending rate increases in California as President Obama cited the premium hikes -- some as high as 39% -- in his bid to pass national healthcare legislation (Los Angeles Times).

Long-Term Care Hospitals Face Little Scrutiny
No one at the hospital noticed that Tina Bell-Jackman was dying. On the night of June 26, 2007, Ms. Bell-Jackman turned restlessly in her bed in Room 7 at Select Specialty Hospital of Kansas City, a small medical center that specializes in treating chronically ill patients. Ms. Bell-Jackman, a 46-year-old with diabetes, had been hospitalized at Select for five weeks, was increasingly agitated and could not speak because of a surgical hole in her throat (The New York Times).

FDA To Increase Oversight Of Medical Radiation
The federal Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that it would take steps to more stringently regulate three of the most potent forms of medical radiation, including increasingly popular CT scans, some of which deliver the radiation equivalent of 400 chest X-rays (The New York Times).

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