First Edition: December 16, 2009
Today's headlines reveal a sense of momentum for Democrats behind the Senate health bill.
Congress And Medicare: Letting Go Is Hard To Do
Kaiser Health News staff writer Mary Agnes Carey explores some of the key issues within current health reform proposals related to Medicare and cost. "In an effort to rein in health costs, Senate Democrats are proposing steps that would give federal agencies more power to overhaul how Medicare pays for medical care and thus reduce Congress' own role in running the giant program for the elderly" (Kaiser Health News).
Let Women Decide On Medical Tests
In this Kaiser Health News column, Shannon Brownlee and E. Dale Collins write about a hot-button issue. "You're a woman in your 40s-should you or should you not get a mammogram? The recent firestorm over guidelines released last month by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has not made the decision any easier" (Kaiser Health News).
Primary Care For All In This Rhode Island Town
Kaiser Health News staff writer Andrew Villegas talks to Dr. Michael Fine, the vice president of the Scituate Health Alliance, about this town's own health program. "Scituate, R.I., with its population of 10,000, has some big ideas about keeping its residents healthy. The town has created a means for all of its residents to have access to the most basic types of preventive health care, regardless of their ability to pay" (Kaiser Health News).
Senate Inches Toward Final Vote On Health Bill
The Senate keeps pushing aside hurdles blocking the huge health overhaul bill. But there are plenty more between the bill and a final vote, which backers still hope to take before Christmas (NPR).
Dems Ready To Push Health Bill Despite Setbacks
History may be calling but time's running out to act by Christmas, so Senate Democrats are coming to terms with the idea they won't get everything they want from health care overhaul (The Associated Press).
Democrats Urged To Act On Health
President Barack Obama pressed Senate Democrats to close ranks quickly behind a deal that has disappointed some liberals, saying Tuesday lawmakers are "on the precipice of an achievement that has eluded Congresses and presidents for generations" (The Wall Street Journal).
Senate Healthcare Bill Advances With Rejection Of Imported Drugs
The path to enacting the first major healthcare overhaul in decades opened wider Tuesday, as the Senate voted down a divisive proposal for direct importation of prescription drugs, and President Obama rallied Democrats behind a decision to put aside one of liberals' most cherished ideas -- creating a government alternative to private medical insurance (Los Angeles Times).
Obama Urges Senate To Pass Health-Care Bill; Lieberman Signals Support
President Obama urged Senate Democrats on Tuesday to overcome lingering disputes and push a health-care overhaul through the chamber before Christmas, as vigorous negotiations continued behind the scenes to lock down the last votes needed for final passage (The Washington Post).
Obama Health Care Meeting Aims To Rally Senators
As the battle over health care lurches toward a conclusion, President Obama is confronting an increasingly sharp divide on the Democratic left, with liberals in the Senate and the House split on a critical question: How much of what they want is enough (The New York Times)?
A Determined Obama 'Cautiously Optimistic' Senate Will Pass Healthcare Overhaul
President Obama, acknowledging that he will have to accept serious compromises in the passage of a healthcare overhaul, insisted today that he would not let the public down on an issue that he had made the centerpiece of his first-year domestic agenda (Los Angeles Times).
Hospital, Physician Lobbyists Fought Medicare Buy-In Plan
Four days before the Senate jettisoned the idea of expanding Medicare to younger Americans, a dozen Senate Democrats, including some of the chamber's most liberal members, dispatched a stern letter warning that the proposal would make it harder for elderly patients in parts of the country to find care (The Washington Post).
Public Option Out, Democrats Press On
Senate Democratic leaders abandoned the last vestige of a government health plan yesterday but pledged to move ahead on a sweeping health care overhaul, infuriating many liberals but pleasing President Obama, who said victory on his highest domestic priority was within sight (The Boston Globe).
Liberal Democrats Back Dropping 'Public Option' For Healthcare
The path to enacting the first major healthcare overhaul in decades opened wider today, as liberal Democrats and President Obama rallied behind a decision to put aside an idea they had long held as an article of faith -- creating a government-run alternative to private medical insurance (Los Angeles Times).
Liberals Grit Their Teeth And Gather Behind Healthcare Reform Bill
Senate Democrats reluctantly coalesced behind compromise healthcare reform legislation Tuesday as President Barack Obama urged them not to allow a historic moment to pass them by (The Hill).
Liberals Lament: What Bill Is This?
More than anything else in Barack Obama's presidency so far, health reform has exposed a get-a-deal-at-any-cost side of Obama that infuriates his party's progressives (Politico).
Public Cooling To Health-Care Reform As Debate Drags On, Poll Finds
As the Senate struggles to meet a self-imposed, year-end deadline to complete work on legislation to overhaul the nation's health-care system, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds the public generally fearful that a revamped system would bring higher costs while worsening the quality of their care (The Washington Post).
Economic Scene: If Health Care Reform Fails, America's Innovation Gap Will Grow
In the cradle of American innovation, workers are making career choices based on co-payments, pre-existing conditions and other minutiae of health insurance. They are not necessarily making decisions based on what would be best for their careers and, in turn, for the American economy - that is, "where their skills match and where they can grow the most," as another Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Cyriac Roeding, says. Health insurance, Mr. Roeding adds, "is distorting the decision-making" (The New York Times).
Lieberman's Ties To Ex-Party Frayed By His Use Of Swing Vote
Sen. Joseph Lieberman's use of his swing vote to help quash a proposed expansion of Medicare marked the latest act in his deteriorating relationship with the Democratic Party (The Wall Street Journal).
Immigrants Lose Lawsuit Against Atlanta Hospital
Efforts to force the public hospital here to continue providing free dialysis treatment to a group of immigrants, most of them illegal, suffered a setback on Tuesday when a judge dismissed a lawsuit challenging the recent closing of the hospital's outpatient renal clinic (The New York Times).
26 Arrested In Three States In Medicare Fraud Schemes
Federal agents arrested 26 suspects in three states on Tuesday, including a doctor and nurses, in a crackdown on Medicare fraud totaling $61 million (The New York Times).
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