First Edition: September 9, 2010
Today's headlines highlight a government study that finds the new health law won't fuel significant increases in spending.
In An Age Of Consolidation, Some Community Hospitals Struggle To Remain Independent
Reporting for Kaiser Health News, in collaboration with USA Today, Arlene Weintraub writes about a community hospital in Massachusetts: "Quincy Medical's woes mirror the financial troubles facing many independent community hospitals nationwide that are not part of a health system or owned by a chain. Banks have grown reluctant to hand out loans in a lagging economy, making it difficult for hospitals to pay for capital improvements" (Kaiser Health News).
Government Economists Say Health Overhaul Won't Significantly Increase Spending
Kaiser Health News staff writer Christopher Weaver reports: "The health overhaul legislation and other changes made by Congress and regulators since February will have only a 'moderate' effect on the nation's health tab through 2019, government economists say in a new study" (Kaiser Health News).
Assessing The Needs Of Disabled Medicare Beneficiaries
Kaiser Health News staff writer Jessica Marcy reports in this KHN short take: "Policy makers need more concrete information about the characteristics of the disabled community and its unique challenges, a senior White House adviser said today at a forum about Medicare disability and health care reform" (Kaiser Health News).
KHN Column: Don't Discount The Value Of An Agent, They Discount Your Insurance
In this column for Kaiser Health News, Janet Trautwein, CEO of the National Association of Health Underwriters, notes: "Insurance agents have made for popular punching bags in recent weeks. TIME magazine posited that agents may be the first victims of health reform. And in a KHN column last week, Jonathan Cohn took a gratuitous shot at insurance brokers, calling the carriers that employ them 'notoriously inefficient.' But the supposed demise of the insurance agent has been greatly exaggerated" (Kaiser Health News).
Health Plan Won't Fuel Big Spending, Report Says
A new government study says President Obama's health care law will have negligible effects on total national health spending in the next 10 years, neither slowing nor fueling the explosive growth of medical costs (The New York Times).
Conversations: Views Of Health Care Economics From A CEO Named Bush
In the world of health care innovation, the founder and chief executive of Athenahealth has an outsize name. In part, that's because his name is Jonathan Bush, and he is the nephew of one former president and the cousin of another. But it's also because his company has mastered the intricacies of the doctor-insurer relationship and become a player in the emerging medical records industry (The New York Times).
U.S. Healthcare Costs Projected To Continue To Climb
Pushed by a dramatic increase in the number of Americans who will get insurance under the new healthcare law, total U.S. medical spending will continue to gallop upward, consuming nearly 20% of the economy by 2019, according to a new government estimate (Los Angeles Times).
Health Outlays Still Seen Rising
The health-care overhaul enacted last spring won't significantly change national health spending over the next decade compared with projections before the law was passed, according to government figures set to be released Thursday (The Wall Street Journal).
Gov't.: Spending To Rise Under Health Care Overhaul
The nation's health care tab will go up - not down - as a result of President Barack Obama's sweeping overhaul. That's the conclusion of a government forecast released Thursday, which also finds the increase will be modest (The Associated Press).
Consumers To Pay Nine Percent More Out Of Pocket
The latest analysis of health care reform out today from bean counters at Medicare won't make selling it on the stump any easier. Yet there's a glimmer of hope in the out years of the 10-year projection that the plan will begin to "bend the cost curve" (The Fiscal Times).
Washington Wire: Pataki Group Targets Democrats Over Health Care Bill
Former New York Gov. George Pataki is taking aim at House Democrats who voted for the Obama health care overhaul, saying his advocacy group will spend at least a million dollars on ads this election (The Wall Street Journal).
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