First Edition: December 14, 2009
Today's headlines reflect the mounting pressure in the Senate regarding the pending health overhaul bill -- especially as the clock ticks closer to the Christmas holiday.
Nine Experts Weigh In On Plan To Replace Public Option In Health Bill
Can a spinoff of the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program, which is the health insurance coverage for eight million federal workers and their families, as well as members of Congress, help some of the country's uninsured? (Kaiser Health News).
Spending Measure Clears Senate
The Senate cleared for President Obama's signature on Sunday a $447 billion omnibus spending bill that contains thousands of earmarks and double-digit increases for several Cabinet agencies, the latest target for Republicans seeking to make growing federal deficits a focal point of the 2010 elections. Those debates, combined with the $787 billion stimulus package passed earlier this year and the slow march toward a roughly $1 trillion health-care reform bill, have focused Republican attacks on Democrats' spending habits -- a preview of the GOP's probable strategy in November (The Washington Post).
High Hurdles Ahead For Health Plan
Senate Democrats scrambling to pass a sweeping health care reform bill before Christmas begin this critical week facing a host of nettlesome problems that threaten to derail the Democrats' fast-track timetable (Politico).
Long-Term Care Is The Latest Issue In Health Care Debate
Embedded in sweeping health legislation passed by the House and being debated on the Senate floor is a major new federal insurance program for long-term care intended to help people like Anne M. Rader (The New York Times).
Doubts About Long-Term Care
Critics question whether a proposal to provide insurance for nursing home care and home health care is financially sustainable (National Journal).
Obama, Democrats Waiting For Nelson On Health Care
Sixty seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, and it takes 60 senators to overhaul the nation's health care system (The Associated Press).
Two Senators Doubt Medicare Compromise
Two key senators on Sunday raised concerns over one aspect of a proposed compromise on the health-care bill, putting up a hurdle to passage of the measure in the Senate (The Wall Street Journal).
Lieberman Resists Medicare Buy-In Plan
Senate Democrats who thought they had found a workable compromise on health care reform learned otherwise from independent Sen. Joe Lieberman over the weekend (The Associated Press).
CMS Actuaries' Report: Senate Health Bill Will Raise Costs
Republicans on Friday seized on a report by government actuaries that said the Senate health bill would cause national health costs to rise (The Wall Street Journal).
The Evolution Of The Federal Abortion Funding Ban
Abortion remains one of the key unresolved issues in the ongoing health overhaul debate. Those on both sides of the abortion debate say what they want in the health bill is to retain the status quo. And the status quo they point to is the Hyde amendment, the ban on federal funding of abortion first passed in 1976 (NPR).
Mammograms As Political Weapon
The heated Capitol Hill debate over health care coverage for mammograms has exploded onto the political scene, shaping the 2010 electoral landscape and recalibrating the battle for a crucial constituency: the women's vote (Politico).
State's ER Policy Passes Checkup
A new state policy requiring crowded hospital emergency rooms to accept all patients delivered by ambulance has not worsened conditions, as some doctors had feared (The Boston Globe).
A Prescription For Snooping
When your doctor writes you a prescription, that's just between you, your doctor and maybe your health insurance company -- right? (Los Angeles Times).
Kaiser Health News tracked the weekend headlines, including news related to the Senate's proposed Medicare buy-in and the Sunday talk shows.
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