First Edition: November 16, 2009
News reports continue to focus on the landmines that exist within health reform proposals.
Crusading Professor Challenges Dartmouth Atlas On Claims Of Wasteful Health Care Spending
KHN staff writer Jordan Rau reports on the dissenting views of Dr. Richard Cooper. As he raced through the U.S. Capitol this fall, Dr. Richard "Buz" Cooper, a 73-year-old University of Pennsylvania medical school professor, didn't mince words. He denounced as "malarkey" a reigning premise of the health care debate -- that one-third of the nation's $2.5 trillion in annual health spending is unnecessary -- and said that the idea came from "a bunch of clowns" (Kaiser Health News).
Reaction To Cooper's Challenge Against Dartmouth Atlas
By studying how hospitals treat Medicare patients in their last two years of life, the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care has found wide geographic differences in how medicine is practiced. The research shows patients in some areas are more likely to get operations and tests than other areas (Kaiser Health News).
Health Reform's Hidden Land Mines
After all the controversy over the public option, people might think that everyone can sign up right away if Congress passes health reform (Politico).
House Health Bill Includes Medicaid Relief For States
Wedged in the House health-care bill is $23.5 billion that looks a lot more like new federal stimulus spending than anything to do with national health-care reform (The Washington Post).
Healthcare Bills Could Jeopardize States' Consumer Protection Laws
Healthcare overhaul bills working their way through Congress could jeopardize laws in California and other states that require insurers to pay for treatments such as AIDS testing, second surgical opinions and reconstructive surgery for breast cancer patients (Los Angeles Times).
Where Two Contentious Issues Intersect
That question of access to care for some immigrants, and who should pay for it, could well become one of the most contentious sticking points in the coming weeks as members of Congress sit down to reconcile the health-care bill passed by the House on Saturday with the yet-to-emerge Senate version (The Washington Post).
Drug Makers Raise Prices In Face Of Health Care Reform
Even as drug makers promise to support Washington's health care overhaul by shaving $8 billion a year off the nation's drug costs after the legislation takes effect, the industry has been raising its prices at the fastest rate in years (The New York Times).
Health Bill Foes Solicit Funds For Economic Study
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and an assortment of national business groups opposed to President Obama's health-care reform effort are collecting money to finance an economic study that could be used to portray the legislation as a job killer and threat to the nation's economy, according to an e-mail solicitation from a top Chamber official (The Washington Post).
Abortion Deal Spins A Very Tangled Web
Taxpayers currently provide deep subsidies for health insurance plans that cover abortion - a little-recognized fact responsible for much of the angst over an anti-abortion amendment attached to the House health care bill (Politico).
Catholic Bishops' Influence On Healthcare Bill
For weeks, the Catholic Church has asked its U.S. parishioners to work toward ensuring that tough language restricting federal funding of abortion is included in healthcare overhaul legislation (Los Angeles Times).
AP Poll: Americans Divided On Health Care Bills
A new Associated Press poll shows Americans are divided about the Democratic health care bills advancing in Congress (The Associated Press/The Washington Post).
Report Details Billions Lost In Medicare Fraud
The government paid more than $47 billion in questionable Medicare claims including medical treatment showing little relation to a patient's condition, wasting taxpayer money at a rate nearly three times that of the previous year (The Washington Post).
Kaiser Health News provides highlights of the health policy headlines from the weekend, including the latest on the Senate Democrats' health bill, a CMS analysis of the House-passed reform measure and the continued fracas over abortion provisions.
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