First Edition: January 6, 2011
Today's headlines include reports about the increase in health expenditures the nation experienced in 2009.
Kaiser Health News: Obama Health Care Officials Switch Jobs, Reorganize
KHN staff writers Christopher Weaver and Laurie McGinley report: "As newly empowered Republicans step up their assault on the health care overhaul, the Obama administration is making major changes in the team that's implementing and selling the law" (Weaver and McGinley, 1/5).
The Washington Post: U.S. Health-Care Expenditures Up Only 4 Percent In 2009, Suggesting Effects Of Recession
The nation's expenditures on health care in 2009 grew by 4 percent, the smallest increase in at least a half-century, according to new federal figures that suggest Americans stinted on medical services as they lost jobs and insurance in the recent recession (Goldstein, 1/5).
The New York Times: Health Spending Rose In '09, But At Low Rate
Total national health spending grew by 4 percent in 2009, the slowest rate of increase in 50 years, as people lost their jobs, lost health insurance and deferred medical care, the federal government reported on Wednesday (Pear, 1/5).
The Wall Street Journal: Health Spending Eats Up Record Chunk Of GDP
Health spending rose to a record 17.6% of the U.S. economy in 2009, as the overall economy shrank and higher federal Medicaid spending helped to push up health costs (Landers, 1/6).
The Washington Post: House Republicans Adopt New Rules For Tax And Spending Legislation
After four years out of power, Republicans seized control of the House with gusto on Wednesday, adopting a passel of new rules designed to make it easier to keep their campaign promises to cut taxes, repeal President Obama's health-care law and slash government spending (Montgomery, 1/5).
Los Angeles Times: House Republicans To Set The Tone For 2012
The new Republican agenda, much of it to be acted on over the next few days and weeks, include House votes seeking to repeal last year's healthcare overhaul and sharp cuts - as much as 20% - in domestic spending, particularly for social programs and regulatory regimes favored by Democrats. The aggressive agenda is in contrast to the previous Congress, in which Republicans - outnumbered in both the House and Senate - became the "party of no," determined to block Democratic proposals (West, 1/5).
Politico: Politics Trump Policy On 'Death Panels'
A federal regulation to pay for end-of-life counseling - dubbed "death panels" by critics - has been pulled by the White House, prompting charges that the administration is flip flopping on a good policy (Coughlin, 1/5).
Los Angeles Times: Blue Shield Of California Seeks Rate Hikes Of As Much As 59% For Individuals
Another one of California's largest health insurers has stunned individual policyholders with news of huge rate increases -- this time it's Blue Shield of California seeking hikes of as much as 59% for tens of thousands of customers March 1 (Helfand, 1/5).
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