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Mar 20, 2013

U.S. health innovations need time to show cost results: official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration on Wednesday said its experiments at controlling healthcare costs could need up to a year to produce results, frustrating congressional lawmakers eager to know if new innovations in care delivery can actually work.

Dr. Richard Gilfillan, who is overseeing the initiative at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, told the Senate Finance Committee that his agency is now testing three-dozen care delivery models involving 50,000 healthcare providers and more than 1 million beneficiaries.

Mar 19, 2013

Analysis: Arkansas Republicans seek an acceptable “Obamacare”

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two Republican state senators from Arkansas may soon accomplish what seasoned Washington politicians couldn’t: make the main provisions of President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul palatable to hard-core conservatives.

Jonathan Dismang and David Sanders, with two colleagues from the state House, believe they have come up with an alternative to the Medicaid expansion, as laid out in the law. Their idea is to use privatization to avoid the proliferation of government bureaucracy that conservatives vehemently oppose.

Mar 19, 2013

Arkansas Republicans seek an acceptable ‘Obamacare’

WASHINGTON, March 19 (Reuters) – Two Republican state
senators from Arkansas may soon accomplish what seasoned
Washington politicians couldn’t: make the main provisions of
President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul palatable to
hard-core conservatives.

Jonathan Dismang and David Sanders, with two colleagues from
the state House, believe they have come up with an alternative
to the Medicaid expansion, as laid out in the law. Their idea is
to use privatization to avoid the proliferation of government
bureaucracy that conservatives vehemently oppose.

Feb 28, 2013

Top quality Medicare Advantage plans in strong position-official

WASHINGTON, Feb 28 (Reuters) – Medicare Advantage insurance
plans that meet the program’s higher quality standards should be
in a strong position to withstand federal payment reductions
proposed for 2014, a senior U.S. health official said on
Thursday.

Jonathan Blum, acting principal deputy administrator for the
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), told the
Senate Finance Committee that insurance plans with four-star and
five-star Medicare quality ratings have seen enrollment more
than double in recent years, despite a huge drop in federal
payments.

Feb 25, 2013

White House steps up campaign to avoid spending cuts

WASHINGTON, Feb 25 (Reuters) – The White House escalated a
campaign on Monday to convince Americans dire consequences await
if government spending cuts go ahead on March 1, warning of a
slow down in global trade, a stalled fight against cancer and
Alzheimer’s disease and compromised security at U.S. borders.

At the same time, prominent Republicans said President
Barack Obama was overstating the potential damage of the $85
billion in government-wide cuts to frighten the public.

Feb 24, 2013

Latest Simpson-Bowles health plan stirs worry but lacks detail

WASHINGTON, Feb 24 (Reuters) – A new bipartisan
deficit-reduction plan to slash a massive $600 billion from U.S.
healthcare spending over two decades has policy experts
scratching their heads over how such an ambitious target can be
reached.

Democrat Erskine Bowles and Republican Alan Simpson have yet
to declare what they would do to wring savings from Medicare,
Medicaid and other programs, according to analysts who provide
the two deficit hawks with their facts and figures.

Feb 22, 2013

U.S. sticks to limits on health insurance charges for older people

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration on Friday finalized new consumer safeguards for health insurance that impose tighter restrictions on what insurers can charge older customers, despite industry warnings that the young may be forced to pay more as a result.

The Department of Health and Human Services rejected an industry request to phase in a reform prohibiting insurers from charging older beneficiaries premiums more than three times higher than those available to younger adults.

Feb 20, 2013

U.S. issues final word on essential benefits under ‘Obamacare’

WASHINGTON, Feb 20 (Reuters) – The Obama administration on
Wednesday issued its long-awaited final rule on what states and
insurers must do to provide the essential health benefits
required in the individual and small-group market beginning in
2014 under the healthcare reform law.

A cornerstone of President Barack Obama’s plan to enhance
the breadth of healthcare coverage in the United States, the
mandate allows the 50 U.S. states a role in identifying benefit
requirements and grants insurers a phased-in accreditation
process for plans sold on federal healthcare exchanges.

Feb 20, 2013

U.S. releases list of health benefits insurers must offer

WASHINGTON, Feb 20 (Reuters) – The Obama administration on
Wednesday issued its long-awaited final rule on essential health
benefits that insurers must offer consumers in the individual
and small-group market beginning in 2014 under the healthcare
reform law.

A cornerstone of President Barack Obama’s plan to enhance
the breadth of healthcare coverage in the United States, the
mandate allows the 50 U.S. states a role in identifying benefit
requirements and grants insurers a phased-in accreditation
process for plans sold on federal healthcare exchanges.

Feb 15, 2013

U.S. Catholic bishops ask Congress for contraceptives reprieve

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Roman Catholic bishops stepped up their battle against President Obama’s contraceptives policy on Friday by urging Congress to use its fiscal debate to free religious employers from a mandate requiring insurance coverage for birth control.

In a letter to all 535 members of Congress, Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore suggested two provisions to extend existing federal conscience protections to the contraceptives mandate and strengthen the ability of opponents to seek vindication in federal court.

    • About David

      "David Morgan has covered news from Wall Street and Fleet Street to the White House, the Pentagon and Congress, including politics, macroeconomics, military affairs, corporate finance, U.S. intelligence, national security and the international markets. He has also reported from Atlanta on the rise of American conservatism, civil rights, homegrown terrorism and the Olympics, and helped chronicle the Sept. 11 attacks and their aftermath from Philadelphia, New York and Washington."
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