First Edition: November 3, 2009
Today's headlines feature the latest news on the timing and politics of Congress' health reform effort plus insights on specific policies included in pending proposals.
Ad Audit Explores Whether The Message Matches The Truth About Health Bills And Medicare
Kaiser Health News staff writer Jordan Rau examines a new ad by a conservative advocacy group that warns that the health care bills before Congress would hurt Medicare. He finds that the ad uses older Americans to exaggerate the impact of proposed Medicare cuts and ignores some improvements (11/4).
Analysis: Health Care Delay Would Frustrate Obama
Delay is rarely good for politicians trying to pass legislation. The possibility that Congress might not complete action on a major health care bill this year is another frustration for President Barack Obama and his allies (The Associated Press).
Health Bills Too Timid On Cutting Costs, Experts Say
Democrats in Congress are embracing the spirit of President Obama's call to slow the runaway rise of health-care costs but are shying away from some of the most aggressive techniques for achieving that (The Washington Post).
Senate Moderates Flex Muscle On Health-Care Bill
Moderate lawmakers are exerting their outsize influence in the divided Senate to secure changes to health-care reform legislation, potentially adding more delays to a bill that has already missed several announced deadlines (The Washington Post).
The Influence Game: Liberals Targeting Moderates
Get on the health overhaul bandwagon, or don't count on our help in your re-election. That's the hardball message liberal groups are hurling at moderate Democratic senators in a battle that is dividing their party. Their demands: Support a bill that offers optional government-run health coverage and oppose Republican attempts to derail the legislation (The Associated Press).
Democrats File Final House Health Bill; Friday Vote Possible
The vote on the House's healthcare reform legislation will not be held until Friday evening at the earliest.
The House Rules Committee posted the Manager's Amendment to the healthcare online Tuesday evening, signifying the final legislation as having been officially sent to the floor (The Hill).
G.O.P. Counters With A Health Plan Of Its Own
House Republicans have come up with an answer to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, drafting an alternative health care bill that would reward states for reducing the number of uninsured, limit damages in medical malpractice lawsuits and allow small businesses to band together and buy insurance exempt from most state regulation (The New York Times).
'House Call' To Diagnose Health Care Ills
House Republicans and tea party protesters spent the summer and much of the fall in an awkward mating dance, with neither group too sure it wanted to embrace the other (Politico).
Health Bills Aim A Light On Doctors' Conflicts
As part of the health care overhaul under consideration by Congress, lawmakers have included so-called sunshine provisions intended to shed light on the financial relationships between the medical industry and doctors (The New York Times).
Health Care Debate Focuses On Legal Immigrants
The debate over health care for illegal immigrants continues to percolate in Congress despite the Obama administration's efforts to put it to rest, with lawmakers in both houses also wrangling over how much coverage to provide for immigrants who have settled in the country legally (The New York Times).
Abortion Language Complicates Democratic Health Efforts
House Democratic leaders, while insisting that the finish line is in sight on their overhaul of the nation's healthcare system, have hit a last-minute snag over the abortion issue. Senate Democratic leaders, meanwhile, are continuing to have problems winning over moderates in their own party -- raising the possibility that the climactic votes on healthcare might be pushed into next year (Los Angeles Times).
Abortion Issue could Unravel House Healthcare Reform Bill
The House is gearing up for floor action on healthcare reform as early as this weekend. But before that can take place, an impasse within the Democratic caucus over abortion and its place in the healthcare reform legislation must be resolved. Otherwise, the whole bill could go down (The Christian Science Monitor).
Insurance Discounts For Healthy Habits Spur Debate In Washington
Who could object to rewarding people who quit smoking, lose weight or start to exercise? The American Cancer Society and the American Heart Assn., for starters (Los Angeles Times).
Conflict Of Interest For AARP In Health Bill Debate
Whenever Washington considers changes in health care or Social Security, one of the main players is the senior citizens lobby AARP. The organization's size makes it hard to miss: "One out of every two people over age 50 is an AARP member," says David Certner, who directs AARP's lobbying operation. That comes to 40 million members, he says, half of them 65 or older. AARP, which offers several kinds of AARP-branded health insurance, supports the changes proposed in Congress right now. Critics say that's because the group would profit if the health care system gets rebuilt (NPR).
Plan Creates New Program To Pay For Long-Term Care
One provision of the health-care legislation with broad potential impact on Americans isn't about health insurance. Instead, it would create a new federal long-term care benefit that would pay cash to people who become disabled (The Wall Street Journal).
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