First Edition: November 9, 2011
In today's headlines, reports on the latest developments related to the 'super committee's' deliberations, an appeals court issues a health law decision and results from yesterday's elections.
Kaiser Health News: Romney's Plan Would Fundamentally Change Medicare
Kaiser Health News staff writers Mary Agnes Carey and Marilyn Werber Serafini report: "Mitt Romney's plan to overhaul Medicare follows a familiar Republican prescription: Use the power of the marketplace to bring down costs and improve care. Yet, such a move would fundamentally change the nature of the popular program, and treads close to a proposal that Republicans were heavily criticized for earlier this year" (Carey and Werber Serafini, 11/8).
Kaiser Health News: Docs In A Very Big Box
Kaiser Health News staff writer Julie Appleby and Sarah Varney, working as part of a reporting partnership that includes NPR, report: "Walmart - the nation's largest retailer and biggest private employer -- now wants to dominate a growing part of the health care market, offering a range of medical services from basic prevention to management of chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease, NPR and Kaiser Health News have learned" (Appleby and Varney, 11/9).
Kaiser Health News: Kansas Announces Sweeping Medicaid Restructuring
Kansas Public Radio reporter Bryan Thompson and Kansas Health Institute reporter Mike Shields, working in partnership with Kaiser Health News, report: "Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback announced a major overhaul of the state's Medicaid program today, which would put nearly all Medicaid recipients into private, managed-care plans. While low-income families are currently in such plans, elderly and disabled Kansans receive care through a fee-for-service system" (Thompson and Shields, 11/8).
Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Ohioans Vote Against Health Law; Miss. 'Personhood' Fails; Panel Proposes Cures For Health Technology Ills
Now on the blog, Karl Eisenhower reports on yesterday’s election results: "Details of last night's election results — and what they mean about the voters' mood on health policy issues" (11/9). Also on Capsules, Shefali S. Kulkarni reports: "IT systems can improve care but have also lead to 'dosing errors, failure to detect fatal ailments and treatment delays'" (11/8). Check out what else is on the blog.
The New York Times: Health Law Survives Test In Court Of Appeals
The decision came as the Supreme Court is about to consider whether to take up challenges to the Affordable Care Act, a milestone legislative initiative of the administration (Schwartz, 11/8).
Los Angeles Times: Federal Court Backs Healthcare Law
One of the nation's most closely watched federal courts ruled Tuesday that the new healthcare law's requirement that most Americans get health insurance is constitutional, giving a surprise boost to President Obama's signature domestic achievement. The opinion by the conservative-leaning U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia marked the second time this year that a federal appellate court with a majority of Republican appointees has backed the law and its insurance mandate (Levey, 11/9).
The Washington Post: Appeals Court Upholds Health-Care Law
A federal appeals court upheld the constitutionality of the 2010 health-care law Tuesday, granting the Obama administration another appellate victory as the law nears an expected final review by the Supreme Court (Aizenman, 11/8).
The Associated Press/Washington Post: Appeals Court Rules Obama Health Care Law Is Constitutional, Agrees To Toss Religious Suit
A conservative-leaning appeals court panel on Tuesday upheld the constitutionality of President Barack Obama's health care law, as the Supreme Court prepares to consider this week whether to resolve conflicting rulings over the law's requirement that all Americans buy health care insurance (11/8).
The Wall Street Journal: Health Law Survives Another Appeal
Joining two other federal appeals courts, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit sided with the government to uphold the law's requirement that most Americans carry health insurance or pay a penalty (Kendall and Bravin, 11/9).
USA Today: High Court Weighs Hearing Arguments On Health-Care Law
The case is shaping up to be the most contentious at the Supreme Court in more than a decade, but everyone involved agrees at least on one point: They need to know as soon as possible whether the new health-care law is constitutional (Biskupic, 11/8).
Politico: DC Court Upholds Health Reform Law
The ruling comes just days before the Supreme Court is expected to consider whether to take up the issue. That decision could come as soon as Thursday, when the justices will hold a private conference to discuss what cases to take this term (Haberkorn, 11/8).
The Washington Post: Republicans Offer Tax Deal to Break Debt Impasses; Democrats Dismiss It
Congressional Republicans have for the first time retreated from their hard-line stance against new taxes, offering to raise federal tax collections by nearly $300 billion over the next decade as part of a plan to tame the national debt. But Democrats rejected the offer Tuesday — along with the notion that Republicans had made a significant concession that could end the long-standing political impasse — leaving a special debt-reduction committee far from compromise with less than two weeks until its Thanksgiving deadline (Montgomery, 11/8).
The New York Times: Deficit Panel Member Seeking To Avoid Blame
Republicans, long opposed to tax increases, said Tuesday that they might allow $250 billion to $300 billion of additional tax revenue as part of a deal to shave $1.2 trillion from federal deficits over the next 10 years. Democrats were quick to dismiss the offer because, they said, it came with a proposal that would permanently reduce individual income tax rates, including those for the most affluent Americans. … Members of both parties said Tuesday that they saw a glimmer of hope that the panel could strike a deal and vote on its recommendations by the statutory deadline of Nov. 23, just two weeks off (Pear, 11/8).
Los Angeles Times: Republicans Offer A Tax Proposal On The Deficit
The GOP plan would essentially swap lower tax rates — ending the long-running debate over the expiring President George W. Bush-era tax breaks — for new limits on itemized tax deductions used primarily by wealthier households, such as the mortgage interest deduction on second homes The new GOP proposal also includes up to $300 billion in other non-tax revenue, primarily from government assets and lease sales, as well as $700 billion in cuts to Medicare and other government programs. Failure by the super committee to emerge with a proposal would trigger mandatory spending cuts to defense and domestic accounts that both sides hope to avoid (Mascaro, 11/9).
The Wall Street Journal: GOP Open to Tax Deal In Talks On Deficit
The emerging battle, nonetheless, marks a potentially important shift in strategy among Republicans, who for months have seemed to insist any budget deal be built on spending cuts alone. The discussion now appears to be about what kind of revenue might be included in a deficit deal. … According to officials briefed on the plan, the Toomey proposal would cut $1.2 trillion from the deficit over 10 years, including $700 billion in spending cuts. People briefed on the plan said it called for cuts in Medicaid, an increase in the eligibility age for Medicare and a change in the inflation-adjustment formula that would slow the growth of Social Security benefits (Hook and Bendavid, 11/9).
The New York Times: Study Debunks Operation To Prevent Strokes
An operation that doctors hoped would prevent strokes in people with poor circulation to the brain does not work, researchers are reporting. A $20 million study, paid for by the government, was cut short when it became apparent that the surgery was not helping patients who had complete blockages in one of their two carotid arteries, which run up either side of the neck and feed 80 percent of the brain (Grady, 11/8).
USA Today: 2011 Voters Give A Glimpse Into 2012
Ohio voters rejected a new law sharply restricting public workers' right to collective bargaining Tuesday, and Mississippi rejected an anti-abortion proposal that would have defined life as beginning at conception (Welch, 11/9).
The Washington Post: Issue 2 Falls, Ohio Collective Bargaining Law Repealed
Ohioans voted Tuesday night to repeal a Republican-backed law that restricted collective bargaining for public workers, a victory for Democrats and labor organizers both nationally and in the state. …In addition to limiting bargaining and banning strikes, the law mandates that public workers pay 15 percent of their health-care benefits and 10 percent of wages into their pensions — something that state, but not county and local workers already do. … A separate referendum to bar all health-care mandates, Issue 3, passed by a wide margin — 66 percent to 34 percent with 74 percent reporting. The constitutional amendment is a rebuke of the Obama administration’s health-care legislation, although even supporters acknowledge that they cannot supersede federal law (Weiner, 11/8).
The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire: Ohio Ballot Initiative On Health Care: Preview Of 2012?
Ohio's ballot initiative to reject a key component of the federal health-care overhaul gives national politicos another chance to take voters' temperatures on an issue likely to feature prominently in next year's elections. Voters in the swing state decide Tuesday on a proposition to ban state officials from enforcing the law’s requirement that individuals carry insurance or pay a fee (Radnofsky, 11/8).
The Associated Press/ USA Today: Mississippi Defeats Life At Conception Ballot Initiative
Mississippi voters Tuesday defeated a ballot initiative that would have declared life begins at conception, a proposal that supporters sought in the Bible Belt state as a way to prompt a legal challenge to abortion rights nationwide (11/8).
The Associated Press/Washington Post: Officials To Talk About Plan To Increase Mayland's Primary Care Workforce
Maryland officials will be discussing a plan to increase Maryland’s primary care workforce by as much as 25 percent before 2020. Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown will join Maryland Department of Labor Secretary Alexander Sanchez on Tuesday in Silver Spring to outline the plan. Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Secretary Joshua Sharfstein also will attend (11/8).
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