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Daily News, Sept. 24, 2009

Headlines

News Headlines Article

Uninsured more than a statistic, East Bay leaders say
Contra Costa Times - Sandy Kleffman

Three months ago, more than 300 families had their names on a waiting list to receive health care services at La Clinica de La Raza’s offices in the Fruitvale section of Oakland. Today, the list has ballooned to 700 families. For Chief Executive Officer Jane Garcia, the list is an all-too-real verification of last week’s statistics on the uninsured, released by the U.S. Census Bureau. 

News Headlines Article

WellPoint chief Braly voices thoughts on reform
Los Angeles Business Journal - Corrinne Hess

If a public option is created under national health care reform, cost shifting to people with commercial insurance will increase. That’s according to Angela Braly, president and chief executive officer of WellPoint Inc. (NYSE: WLP).

News Headlines Article

Senate panel approves measure to aid some urban hospitals
Modern Healthcare - Matthew DoBias

The Senate Finance Committee OK’d a measure that could lead to increased payments for some types of urban hospitals. A provision sponsored by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) calls for HHS to study whether or not Urban Medicare-Dependent Hospitals should qualify for a special add-on payment. 

News Headlines Article

Legislators pull off victory for children’s health
Capitol Weekly - Wendy Lazarus

As we look back at a legislative session engulfed by an economic downturn, where legislators had to make tough decisions, we can celebrate one true victory. With a last minute legislative deal and a signature by the Governor this past week, nearly one million children will be able to keep their health coverage through California’s Healthy Families Program.

News Headlines Article

Mandate minus price controls may increase healthcare costs
Los Angeles Times - Noam N. Levey and James Oliphant

In the drive to bring health coverage to almost every American, lawmakers have largely rejected restrictions on how much insurers can charge, sparking fears that consumers will continue to face the skyrocketing premium increases of recent years.

News Headlines Article

Thousands of local children to retain health insurance with passage of Healthy Families funding
Times-Standard - Thadeus Greenson

With a stroke of his pen Tuesday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger approved bipartisan legislation that will retain health insurance for almost 700,000 California children as a part of the Healthy Families program, which provides low-cost health insurance to the children of the working poor.

News Headlines Article

Medical association announces new CEO
Sacramento Bee - Bobby Caina Calvan

The California Medical Association this week named Alfred D. Gilchrist as its new chief executive officer. He replaces Joe Dunn, a former state senator from Orange County. Dunn announced his departure last month after serving in the post for nearly three years. Gilchrist, who begins his new role in November, served in the same capacity for the Colorado Medical Society.

News Headlines Article

Modified Baucus Bill Adds Value, Quality to Physician Payment Equation
Health Leaders Media - Janice Simmons

Value over volume would come into play under a new Medicare physician payment system modification inserted into the Senate Finance Committee’s healthcare reform bill this week. Under the proposed physician payment change, backed by Sen.

News Headlines Article

Mammogram patients can identify failing clinics
Capitol Weekly - Jenny Oropeza

Mammograms save the lives of our wives, mothers and sisters. Our executives and secretaries. Teachers and students. That’s why annual mammograms are recommended for all women 40 and older and federal law requires every mammography machine be inspected once per year.

News Headlines Article

Biden: Insurers Need to Abide by New Ground Rules
HC Pro - Janice Simmons

Current proposals on Capitol Hill for reforming healthcare will not hurt health insurers’ ability to compete and earn in the healthcare marketplace, Vice President Joe Biden told a meeting of insurance regulators on Tuesday. However, these companies need to be “held accountable” as they conduct their business.

News Headlines Article

Immigrants Cling to Fragile Lifeline at Safety-Net Hospital
New York Times - Kevin Sack

If Grady Memorial Hospital succeeds in closing its outpatient dialysis clinic, Tadesse A.

News Headlines Article

Senators spar on health bill’s effect on seniors
USA Today - The Associated Press

Republicans argued health legislation would hurt seniors and Democrats said it would do nothing of the sort as the Senate Finance Committee resumed debate Wednesday on a bill to remake the nation’s health care system. The second day of Chairman Max Baucus’ meeting on his nearly $900 billion, 10-year bill to enact President Obama’s top domestic priority got off to a slow start.

News Headlines Article

Heart Disease is no Longer Leading Reason for Patient Admission
Health Leaders Media - Cheryl Clark

Coronary heart disease patients requiring hospital care have declined so much that they are no longer the leading reason for a diseased patient’s admission. Now it’s ranked number three. That’s according to a sample of discharge records collected from 1,000 hospitals in 40 states in 2007 by the federal Agency for Health Research and Quality.

News Headlines Article

Senator Tries to Allay Fears on Health Overhaul
New York Times - Robert Pear and David M. Herszenhorn

Senator Bill Nelson of Florida desperately wants to expand health insurance coverage because one in five Floridians is uninsured. As a former state insurance commissioner, he wants to crack down on insurers. And as a member of the Senate Finance Committee, he can shape legislation to achieve both goals. But Mr. Nelson, a Democrat, has a big problem.

News Headlines Article

For First Time, AIDS Vaccine Shows Some Success in Trials
New York Times - Donald G. McNeil Jr.

A new AIDS vaccine tested on more than 16,000 volunteers in Thailand has protected a significant minority against infection, the first time any vaccine against the disease has even partly succeeded in a clinical trial. Scientists said they were delighted but puzzled by the result.

News Headlines Article

House lawmakers move to skirt hike in Part B premiums
Modern Healthcare - Jennifer Lubell

Leaders on the House Ways and Means and the Energy and Commerce committees have introduced a bill that would protect certain Medicare beneficiaries from increases in their 2010 Medicare Part B premiums. The bill will bypass regular committee proceedings and be considered directly on the House floor Thursday.  

News Headlines Article

Obesity could become top cancer cause for Western women
USA Today - The Associated Press

Being fat could become the leading cause of cancer in women in Western countries in the coming years, European researchers said Thursday. Being overweight or obese accounts for up to 8% of cancers in Europe.

News Headlines Article

House panel aims to bolster drug-pricing program
Modern Healthcare - Jennifer Lubell

The House Energy and Commerce Committee in considering additional language to the America’s Affordable Health Choices Act approved a package of amendments that among other things seeks to strengthen the integrity of a federal drug-pricing program. The committee has been holding a supplemental meeting to address unfinished business.

Blogs

News Headlines Article

“Reform” Means Higher Costs, Not Lower
The Health Care Blog - Joe Flower

A reader asks: “If the current bill passes are my health insurance costs likely to go up, down, or remain about the same?” If the form that I believe most likely to pass actually passes (insurance reforms, individual mandate, weak or no public option or co-ops), I believe that they will continue to go up.

News Headlines Article

Rep. Cantor’s public option: get sick, sell your stuff. Medicaid then beg
San Francisco Chronicle - Yobie Benjamin

I cannot make this up. You have to watch the entire video unedited (though I also have the short video version) and see if Representative and Minority Whip Eric Cantor’s version of a “public option” squares with your personal values as a human being and as an American. Many people will again disagree with my deep belief that we need universal health care in the United States.

Opinion/Editorial

News Headlines Article

California’s successful health care reform
San Francisco Chronicle - Daniel D. Crowley

Universal coverage. A public insurance option. Mandated coverage. Sound like the language of health care reform? “ObamaCare?” Think again. These have long been features of California’s dynamic workers’ compensation health insurance system, yet few think of that system as “socialist” or a government takeover.  

News Headlines Article

In health care reform, don’t forget the children
Capitol Weekly - Richard Pan

Although health insurance for children was prioritized earlier this year with the federal reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and again now as our Governor appears poised to sign a bill that restores funding for the Healthy Families program, the fact still remains that millions of children continue to fill the rolls of the nation’s uninsured.

News Headlines Article

The right to healthcare? A quick pro-con summary
Los Angeles Times - Tami Dennis

For Americans worn out trying to weigh the motivations and machinations of the most vocal proponents and opponents of healthcare reform, the nonpartisan organization ProCon.org is here to help. Its mission is to promote critical thinking about controversial issues in a straightforward, no-nonsense way.

News Headlines Article

Healthcare reform vs. individual liberty, GOP edition
Los Angeles Times - Jon Healey

Republican members of Congress have started spouting Reason magazine-style arguments against the individual mandate in the healthcare reform bills moving through the House and Senate. For example, Sen. John Kyl (R-Ariz.) called the mandate “a stunning assault on liberty,” and Sen.

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