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The Fast and The Furious: Health Care Reform Headlines

By Clive Riddle, May 20, 2009
While it remains to be seen if actual health care reform prodded by the Obama Administration and Congress should be described as a fast moving car, or as “The Slow and The Serene,” but at least the rate of headlines spewing out on health reform can be considered, as in the movie title, “The Fast and The Furious.”
Just during this week, we’ve been bombarded with developments. Here’s a sampling of what’s come out, under the category of “Who’s going to pay for this mess?”
Sodas a Tempting Tax Target
New York Times, May 20, 2009
Healthcare Overhaul Could Add Financial Burdens To State
Boston Globe, May 19, 2009
New Taxes Loom to Pay for Health-Care Overhaul
Wall Street Journal, May 19, 2009
Congress has little appetite for health care taxes
Associated Press/Google, May 18, 2009
Senate proposes alcohol, soda tax to fund health care plan May 18, 2009
Turning to the policy front here’s a sampling of headlines under the category of standing on soapboxes:
Baucus Message to Industry Lobbyists: 'Let the Process Work'
The Washington Post, May 20, 2009
The GOP's Health-Care Alternative
Wall Street Journal, May 20, 2009
Republicans To Introduce Health Reform Plan That Would Establish State Health Insurance Exchanges, Provide Tax Credits
Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, May 20, 2009
Senators Push for Delay of Public Health-Care Option
Bloomberg, May 19, 2009
Senate Finance Committee Releases Policy Paper Describing Options To Pay for Health Overhaul
Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, May 19, 2009
Dems Unclear Where Baucus Will Side on Health Care Reform May 18, 2009
Finally, here’s a few entries under that category of Newton’s Third Law That Every Action has an Equal and Opposite Reaction:
Physician Practice Interactions with Health Plans Cost $31 Billion A Year, Equaling 6.9 Percent of All Spending For Physician And Clinical Services, New Study Finds
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Press Release, May 20, 2009
Health Insurers Promise ‘Meat’ to $2 Trillion Savings
[Bloomberg reports that health insurers will propose simpler billing for doctors and rewarding better-performing physicians as part of the industry’s White House pledge last week to help shave $2 trillion from U.S. medical bills over the next decade.]
Bloomberg, May 18, 2009
DOJ Insurers Probe Sought By Health Care Reform Advocates
The Huffington Post, May 20, 2009
Health Plans Support Competition to Benefit Consumers
AHIP Press Release, May 20, 2009

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