First Edition: July 29, 2010
In today's headlines, a new poll shows opposition to health reform declining, and Peter Orszag makes his exit as budget chief -- still pressing lawmakers to make tough budget choices while implementing the new law.
Support For Health Law Remains Steady While Opposition Drops
The percentage of people who view the new health bill unfavorably dropped 6 points to 35 percent in the past month, but that has not translated into a significant increase of supporters, according to the July tracking poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Overall support remained stable since the June survey, with about half the public expressing a favorable view of the overhaul, the poll found (Kaiser Health News).
KHN Column: Gazing Into CBO's Budget And Health Care Crystal Ball
In his latest Kaiser Health News column, James C. Capretta writes: "Last week, Peter Orszag, the president's outgoing Director of the Office of Management and Budget, released updated budget projections on behalf of the Obama administration. The numbers are unsettling, to put it mildly, which probably explains why they were released late on a Friday afternoon" (Kaiser Health News).
Poll Shows Opposition To Health Care Overhaul Declining
Opposition to the landmark health care overhaul declined over the past month, to 35 percent from 41 percent, according to the latest results of a tracking poll, reported Thursday (The Washington Post).
Insurers Back Down On Child-Coverage Stance
Health insurance plans across the country on Wednesday began to backtrack on their decision to pull out of the child-only coverage market after the Obama administration addressed their concerns about the potential damage to their bottom lines (The Hill).
Health Insurance: College Kids Face Coverage Choices
It's the first real-life test for students heading off to college: picking the right health insurance plan. The confusion starts before students even step foot on campus, when families must decide whether to sign up for a school-based health insurance plan (The Fiscal Times).
For Budget Chief, Not All Farewells Are Fond
Mr. Orszag, you may recall, was the administration's main proponent of "bending the curve" on health care expenditures. Frustrated that House Democrats wouldn't accept some painful cost-cutting measures in the new health care law, Mr. Orszag pushed for and won a controversial provision to create something called the Independent Payment Advisory Board. This is an outside commission of 15 appointees who will, beginning in 2014, identify cuts to Medicare if the plan exceeds a preset rate for growth. Congress then has to either approve the cuts or propose an alternative (The New York Times).
Orszag Presses Congress To Make Tough Budget Choices On Healthcare Reform
Lawmakers must commit to making the tough budget choices called for in President Obama's healthcare reform law in order to deal with the country's debt problem, Peter Orszag said in his final remarks as White House budget director (The Hill).
House GOP Leaders: 9/11 First Responders Aid Bill 'A Massive New Entitlement Program'
House Republican leadership is advising its members to vote against a bipartisan bill that would, among other things, bolster medical support to Sept. 11 victims (Politico).
WellPoint Profit Rises Despite Lower Revenue
Despite falling revenue and enrollments, insurance giant WellPoint Inc. on Wednesday reported a 4% increase in profit for the second quarter (Los Angeles Times).
Americans Cut Back On Visits To Doctor
Insured Americans are using fewer medical services, raising questions about whether patients are consuming less health care as they pick up a greater share of the costs (The Wall Street Journal).
Lack Of Funding Threatens The Future Of HIV Drug Therapy In The Developing World
Ten years ago, many experts thought you couldn't bring antiretroviral therapy to people with AIDS in poor countries. The drugs cost too much, there weren't enough doctors, the patients wouldn't take the medicines correctly, and the risk of creating a resistant virus was too high (The Washington Post).
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