First Edition: January 25, 2012
Today's headlines include coverage of last night's State of the Union address, and note that the speech included only scant references to health policy.
Kaiser Health News: Obama On Health Insurance Reform: 'I Won't Go Back' (State Of The Union Excerpts)
Kaiser Health News listened to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address with an ear out for health policy references. He made just one explicit mention of the 2010 health law, and KHN has a transcript of the few parts of his speech that mentioned health care issues (1/24).
Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Consumer Groups Ask Obama To Not Weaken Provisions For Insurance Labels
Now on Kaiser Health News' blog, Susan Jaffe reports: "Leaders from some of the nation's top consumer and seniors advocacy groups today urged President Barack Obama not to weaken a key consumer provision of his signature health care overhaul law" (Jaffe, 1/24).
Also on the blog, Karl Eisenhower takes a look at the First Lady’s State of the Union address guest list (1/24). Check out what else is on the blog.
NPR: Analysis: Landmark Health Overhaul Gets Barely A Mention
When it came to health, what was most surprising was how little President Obama had to say in his State of the Union address. His landmark 2010 health overhaul — whose fate is currently before the Supreme Court and whose repeal is the top priority for every GOP presidential candidate — got barely a passing mention (Rovner, 1/24).
Politico: State Of The Union Address Barely Mentions Health Care Reform Law
The health care reform law, which has gotten support from about 42 percent of Americans in recent polls, is Obama's most significant domestic policy accomplishment. But it only got a fleeting mention Tuesday in his third State of the Union speech (Haberkorn, 1/24).
The New York Times: Washington Memo: State Of The Union? More Like State Of The Campaign
Mr. Obama had for years identified long-term deficit reduction as an objective alongside short-time economic recovery, and he included politically unpopular Medicare changes in his health care overhaul. But Democrats still made only minor progress in addressing the long-term deficit. The Republican triumphs in the 2010 midterm elections placed the issue unavoidably at the center of debate (Harwood, 1/24).
The Washington Post: House GOP Strategy: A Referendum On Obama
Annual spending is down — in 2012 federal agencies will spend more than $100 billion less than Obama originally proposed — but many of the rank-and-file Republicans yearn to complete the dramatic overhaul of the federal government crafted last spring by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). That plan would have reduced agency spending levels to where they were in 2008 and dramatically recast entitlement programs, including offering private options for Medicare (Kane, 1/24).
The New York Times: Two Sides Far Apart On Payroll Tax Cut
But negotiators are far apart in how to cover the $160 billion it would cost to maintain the cut, extend expiring unemployment benefits and avoid deep cuts in fees to doctors treating Medicare patients (Weisman, 1/24).
The Wall Street Journal: Catholics Blast Rule On Contraception
Catholic leaders lashed out at the Obama administration's decision to require religious employers' health plans to cover contraceptives, accusing the White House of betraying them on the issue (Radnofsky, 1/25).
Los Angeles Times: Treat Restaurant Workers Well, Expect Better Business, Study Says
The restaurant industry is a notoriously difficult place to work. Wages tend to be lower than those of any other occupation. Nine in 10 people on staff don’t get sick days, paid vacation or health insurance. Advancing up the ladder tends to be a rare occurrence. The tough conditions are evident in worker productivity and retention, researchers found (Hsu, 1/25).
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