First Edition: October 15, 2009
Generic Drug Makers Say 'No' To Health Reform Tab
Makers of generic drugs say it's unfair to make them pay $460M to help fund health care overhaul legislation. They warn consumer prices could rise if Congress approves the 10 years of increased Medicaid discounts included in the bill passed by the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday. (Kaiser Health News)
What Will Make It Into The Final Senate Health Bill?
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid began private meetings Wednesday with fellow Democrats and the White House to merge his chamber's two health care overhaul bills into a single plan that could win a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate (NPR).
Healthcare Triumph Gives Way To Heightened Battle
The battle over healthcare entered a new, more frenzied stage Wednesday, as lawmakers and powerful interest groups jockeyed for advantage now that most believe some form of an overhaul will ultimately be signed into law (Los Angeles Times).
Democrats Work To Finalize Health Legislation
White House officials and Senate Democrats are meeting in private to iron out differences on a health care overhaul that could affect every American. In public, they're united by a common enemy: the health insurance industry (The Associated Press).
Senate Health-Care Push Gains Momentum
Republican Sen. Susan Collins Wednesday signaled a willingness to work with Democrats on health-care legislation, adding momentum to President Barack Obama's push for a bill despite a move by Republican leaders to slow down the debate (The Wall Street Journal).
How Senate Democrats Can Get To 60 Votes On Healthcare
Senate Democrats headed into closed-door meetings Wednesday with growing confidence that they will be able to produce a healthcare bill that can win a critical 60 votes (The Christian Science Monitor).
Fire Back At Health Industry
Days after the insurance lobby began an aggressive campaign against a Senate plan to overhaul the nation's health-care system, senior Democrats fired back, threatening Wednesday to revoke the industry's long-standing antitrust exemption (The Washington Post).
Public Option Is Next Big Hurdle In Health Debate
As the White House and Congressional leaders turned in earnest on Wednesday to working out big differences in the five health care bills, perhaps no issue loomed as a greater obstacle than whether to establish a government-run competitor to the insurance industry (The New York Times).
No Quiet Fadeaway For Federal Insurance Option
Fears about high costs of the health care overhaul and mistrust of insurers are rekindling interest in letting the government sell health insurance as part of the plan (The Associated Press).
Pelosi Seeks Centrist Support For Liberal Public-Option Healthcare Proposal
Speaker Nancy Pelosi is seeking to modify the House healthcare legislation to bring centrists around to the more liberal government-run insurance option, hoping that will give her the strongest negotiating position with the Senate (The Hill).
White House Team Joins Talks On Health Care Bill
A delegation of senior White House officials met on Wednesday at the Capitol with the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, and the chairmen of the Finance and health committees, as Democrats turned their full attention to merging competing versions of the comprehensive health care legislation (The New York Times).
Senate, Administration Begin Healthcare Endgame As Dem Leaders Express Unity
The three Democratic senators charged with finding a final healthcare bill met with senior advisers from the White House on Wednesday as leaders expressed unity on an issue that has divided the party (The Hill).
Labor Unions Turn Against Parts Of Health Bill
A coalition of labor unions is emerging as a leading critic of an $829 billion health care bill heading toward a Senate vote, complicating debate among Democrats over how to pay for the measure (USA Today).
Doctors May Get Payment Boost
Maneuvering to improve prospects for sweeping healthcare legislation, Senate Democrats hope first to win quick approval for a bill that grants doctors a $247-billion increase in Medicare fees over a decade but raises federal deficits in the process, officials said Wednesday (The Associated Press/The Chicago Tribune).
Medicare Advantage Premiums Expected To Rise 25% Next Year
Premiums that seniors pay for Medicare Advantage plans will increase an average of 25% next year, largely because insurers, in response to new federal requirements, are canceling many plans that carry no premiums, a top Medicare official said Wednesday (The Wall Street Journal).
Hidden Costs Of Medicare Advantage
Seniors in this Sun Belt retirement haven and across the country revel in the free perks that private insurance companies bundle with legally mandated benefits to entice people 65 and older to forgo traditional Medicare and sign up for private Medicare Advantage policies. The trouble is, the extra benefits are not exactly free; they are subsidized by the government. And some of the plans pass their costs on to seniors, who pay higher co-pays and additional fees to get care (The Washington Post).
Sign up to receive this list of First Edition headlines via email. Check out all of Kaiser Health News' email options including First Edition and Breaking News alerts on our Subscriptions page.This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.