First Edition: April 21, 2010
Today's health policy news includes reports detailing how congressional Democrats plan to seek more federal regulatory control over health insurance rates.
State's Medicaid Funds Tapped For Federal Health Overhaul
Kaiser Health News staff writer Christopher Weaver writes: "The new health care law could shift billions of dollars from cash-strapped states to the federal government by changing the way Medicaid prescription drug rebates are treated, according to state and industry officials and an examination of Medicaid spending data" (Kaiser Health News).
Democrats Seek Greater Control Over Health Insurance Rates
Congressional Democrats have begun pushing legislation giving government regulators greater authority to block big increases in health insurance premiums, kicking off what is expected to be a years-long process of revising and expanding their major healthcare overhaul (Los Angeles Times).
Senate Bill Sets A Plan To Regulate Premiums
After a hearing on the issue, the chairman of the Senate health committee, Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa, said he intended to move this year on legislation that would "provide an important check on unjustified premiums" (The New York Times).
Three Health Insurers Give Many Young Adults A Break
Three of the nation's largest health insurers announced this week that young adults can remain under their parents' policies until Sept. 23, when a new federal law guarantees them coverage. UnitedHealthcare, WellPoint Inc. and Humana Inc. said they will not wait until President Obama's new healthcare reforms take effect. They include provisions allowing young adults to remain under their parents' health plans until age 26 (Los Angeles Times).
Problem Over Health Coverage For Capitol Hill Is Resolved
A problem in the new health-care overhaul law that may have inadvertently left members of Congress and some congressional staff without health insurance has been resolved, the White House said Tuesday (The Washington Post).
Nominee For Medicare-Medicaid Agency Has Reputation For Being A Visionary
For two decades, Donald Berwick has made a career of finding innovative ways to improve health care and then persuading hospital administrators and doctors to adopt his recommendations (The Washington Post).
When Heart Devices Fail, Who Should Be Blamed?
It was a landmark episode brought to light by two Minneapolis cardiologists that changed the way the medical device industry deals with the safety of heart implants (The New York Times).
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