First Edition: August 10, 2009
Today's headlines show how the complexity of health reform issues continue to impact public opinion, inspire grass roots activity and cause some to questions what the ultimate shape of legislation will be.
Five Lessons From Seattle On Adopting Electronic Medical Records
Atop a hill here, three of Washington state's pre-eminent hospital systems sit within blocks of each other, equipped with state-of-the-art electronic medical record systems that track test results, send warnings about dangerous drug interactions and provide medical histories. But a patient crossing the street from one hospital to another would be wise to bring paper records: The systems, made by different manufacturers, can't talk to each other (Kaiser Health News).
Checking In With Eric Dishman: Intel Exec Sees Opportunity In Demographic Time Bomb
In 2000, 600 million people worldwide were older than age 60. By 2025, this number is expected to double. And in the United States, projections indicate that in two decades seniors will make up nearly one-quarter of the nation's population. For many, this "age wave" is fraught with economic uncertainty. Eric Dishman sees the demographic shift as a market opportunity (Kaiser Health News).
Poll: Americans Divided On Health Care Overhaul
As supporters and opponents of overhauling the health care system try to shape public opinion at congressional town-hall-style meetings, both sides face a big complication: Public opinion on the issue is complex in ways that defy an easy Republican-Democratic divide (USA Today).
A Primer On The Details Of Health Care Reform
With the debate over the future of health care now shifted from Capitol Hill to town halls, supporters and critics of the Democrats' legislative proposals are polishing their sound bites and sharpening their attack lines (The New York Times).
Sorting Out Claims About Healthcare Legislation
With lawmakers home for their August recess, a fierce battle has broken out over what precisely is in the mammoth healthcare bills being pushed by congressional Democrats. There has been no shortage of misinformation, much of it advanced by critics of President Obama's overhaul effort who have made sometimes outlandish claims. Here is a look at a few of the most contentious points (Los Angeles Times).
Tumultuous Environment Makes A Health Care Compromise More Unlikely
Spontaneous or contrived, the shouting, shoving and other shenanigans at lawmakers' town-hall-style meetings point to one probable outcome: the demise of bipartisan health care negotiations (The New York Times).
Obama's Grass-Roots Network Is Put To The Test
To win the White House, Barack Obama and his political team built a vast grass-roots network of supporters and volunteers that came to be considered one of the most valuable assets in American politics. Their ambition after the election was to reshape the network, with its trained organizers and 13 million e-mail addresses, into a ground-level force to push the new president's policy goals.But now, entering a crucial congressional recess month in which Obama's healthcare plan faces stiffened opposition, some members of the network say that the group is still figuring out how to operate. Some also say their work has been slowed by tensions over tactics, disenchantment among some core supporters and an effective GOP resistance (Los Angeles Times).
Durbin: Health Bill 'Doesn't Have To Be Perfect'
Two highly influential senators suggested on Sunday that key provisions in their chamber's health insurance reform legislation may be in jeopardy after they return from recess (The Hill).
Grassley's Health Talks Draw Fire Within Party
Sen. Charles Grassley, the Iowan in the middle of Congress' continuing debate over health care reform, expects an earful at public meetings he has planned in Iowa this week, but not from his typical political opponents (Des Moines Register).
Seniors Remain Wary Of Health-Care Reform
Senior citizens are emerging as a formidable obstacle to President Obama's ambitious health-care reform plans (The Washington Post).
Consumer Protections Lost In Health Care Debate
It's one issue in the health care debate that nearly everyone - even the insurance lobby - seems to agree on: Better consumer protections are needed to end the nightmare of not being able to get covered for a treatable, if costly, illness (The Associated Press).
In Health Fight, Government And Insurers Are Cast As Villains
The fight over health care increasingly seems like a contest about what scares Americans more, the government or insurance companies (The Wall Street Journal).
Tax On High-End Health Plans Threatens Wider Group
A proposal to tax generous health plans could ensnare a broader swath of employers and workers whose benefits aren't necessarily gold-plated (The Wall Street Journal).
Dead By Mistake: Within Health Care Hides Massive, Avoidable Death Toll
Experts estimate that a staggering 98,000 people die from preventable medical errors each year. More Americans die each month of preventable medical injuries than died in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 (Hearst Newspapers/Houston Chronicle).
Mass Medical Clinic's Sobering Message
For two-and-a-half days, about 800 doctors, nurses, dentists and optometrists treated 2,700 uninsured and underinsured people, most from Appalachia. No one was asked for an insurance card. There were no co-pays. And there were no bills (NPR).
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