First Edition: December 1, 2009
Today's headlines focus on the Senate, where that chamber's official health overhaul debate started amid sharp tones and divisive issues just as the Congressional Budget Office issues a report on projected premium costs under the bill being considered.
Seniors Often Reluctant To Switch Medicare Drug Plans
Kaiser Health News staff writer Phil Galewitz, in collaboration with The Washington Post, writes about the decisions seniors face regarding their health coverage. "Seniors have until the end of the year to switch Medicare drug plans to get a better deal. But many will pass up the chance to save hundreds of dollars a year in prescription costs. The reason: With dozens of drug plans on the market, many seniors get overwhelmed at the prospect of changing plans, even if a different one would better suit their needs and lower their costs. But with the average premium for a Medicare drug plan increasing 11 percent in 2010, consumer advocates say seniors have even more reason to check out the options and consider their costs" (12/1).
No Big Cost Rise In U.S. Premiums Is Seen In Study
The Congressional Budget Office said Monday that the Senate health bill could significantly reduce costs for many people who buy health insurance on their own, and that it would not substantially change premiums for the vast numbers of Americans who receive coverage from large employers (The New York Times).
Some Health Premiums To Rise
The Senate's health bill will keep insurance premiums roughly the same for most Americans and may raise them for some people who buy coverage on their own, according to a new analysis that came the day the Senate kicked off debate on the bill (The Wall Street Journal).
Will Healthcare Reform Drive Costs Down? A Little, Report Says
A report released today by the Congressional Budget Office has set out what could be a decisive fault line in the Senate debate over healthcare reform (The Christian Science Monitor).
Senate Health Bill Gets A Boost
As the Senate opened debate Monday on a landmark plan to overhaul the nation's health-care system, congressional budget analysts said the measure would leave premiums unchanged or slightly lower for the vast majority of Americans, contradicting assertions by the insurance industry that the average family's coverage would rise by thousands of dollars if the proposal became law (The Washington Post).
New Report: Insurance Plans For Most Americans Wouldn't Cost More After Health Reform
Kaiser Health News staff writer Julie Appleby reports on a long-awaited analysis that "shows health insurance rates would generally hold steady or decline for most Americans those covered by large employers if the Senate health overhaul bill became law" (11/30).
Healthcare Debate Is Officially On In The Senate
After almost a year of maneuvering over policies and politics, the Senate on Monday officially began debate on the landmark legislation to overhaul the nation's healthcare system, but it remained uncertain how long the deliberations would last or how much the bill would change before it comes to a vote (Los Angeles Times).
Sharp Tones Kick Off Senate Debate
A historic debate on health care opened in the Senate on Monday on a fiercely partisan note, as Democrats and Republicans traded shots over the $848 billion bill and the breakdown of trust between the parties (Politico).
Long, Bitter Debate Ahead For Health Care Bill
Democrats called it a historic opportunity. Republicans called it a sham. Long-awaited debate over President Barack Obama's health care overhaul kicked off in the Senate with lawmakers trading bitter partisan words over the measure to remake one-sixth of the U.S. economy (The Associated Press).
Senate Healthcare Reform Debate Begins: Public Option Topic No. 1
Is the public option dead again this time for good? As the Senate opens debate Monday on its version of healthcare reform, the public option a government-run health plan intended to compete with private insurers remains one of the bill's most controversial issues (The Christian Science Monitor).
Health Bill Financing Vexes Democrats
As the Senate puts the finishing touches on its health care reform package, big problems already loom for the final negotiations with the House. And chief among them will be how to pay for it (Politico).
Health Care Reform's Control Of Costs Questioned
The White House has started to aggressively push back against a growing narrative that pending health reform legislation doesn't do enough to control spiraling health costs (Politico).
Reid Faces Challenges At Capitol And In Nevada
In the Senate health care debate that began Monday, there is perhaps no more pivotal figure than Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid- a soft-spoken Nevadan with a colorful past and an uncertain political future (USA Today).
Essay: To Curb Repeat Hospital Stays, Pay Doctors
A recent study in The New England Journal of Medicine found that one in five Medicare patients discharged from the hospital was readmitted within a month. One in three was readmitted within three months (The New York Times).
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