Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

Dodd Rejects Carter Criticism of Ted Kennedy

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U.S. Senator Chris Dodd on Monday came to the defense of his old buddy, the late Senator Edward Kennedy, against new criticism by former President Jimmy Carter.

doddDodd rejected Carter’s charge that Americans could have begun enjoying the benefits of sweeping healthcare long ago if Kennedy hadn’t stopped a plan by Carter in 1979.

Speaking at the Reuters Summit, Dodd declared, “All I can say is that no one cared more about the issue” of healthcare than Kennedy, a fellow Democrat.

Dodd said Kennedy admitted to missed opportunities in his long crusade to provide healthcare to all Americans, but didn’t see his failure to back Carter’s unsuccessful bid as among them.

Shift in power on the horizon in Washington?

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Republicans stand poised to gain substantial influence in Congress, putting at stake billions of dollars in investment as a shift among power brokers throws legislative initiatives old and new into doubt. Reuters Washington Summit will bring together an influential line-up of insiders just weeks before Americans cast their votes, promising a must-read stream of exclusive news on the outlook for Congress and President Barack Obama’s agenda. Editors and correspondents from the Reuters Washington bureau are sitting down with senior lawmakers, including GOP heavyweights in line for leadership, and regulators whose implementation of Wall Street and healthcare reform could be complicated by a change in control on Capitol Hill.

The Summit will generate exclusive stories, investable insights, online videos and blog postings, which will be immediately available only to Thomson Reuters clients during the Summit. Key interviews will air live exclusively on Reuters Insider – a new multimedia platform delivering relevant news, analysis and trade ideas presented through a personalized video experience. Visit http://etv.thomsonreuters.com/

Health reform…big in Europe too

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U.S. healthcare reform is top of everybody’s agenda right now — but Barack Obama isn’t the only government leader chasing a new deal.

“If you are talking healthcare reform, it’s our daily life in Europe,” Novo Nordisk CEO Lars Sorensen told the Reuters Health Summit in New York.

Beckman hopes reform fees go up in smoke

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Have healthcare companies sunk as far as controversial tobacco companies in the public eye? One medical equipment maker thinks so.

Makers of medical tests, implants and other devices face anywhere from $2 billion-a-year in industry-wide taxes in the House of Representatives’ health reform bill passed on Saturday to $4 billion-a-year under a Senate version.
The Senate measure’s tax is not deductible and would be applied much like the tobacco settlement from cigarette makers years ago, said Beckman Coulter CEO Scott Garrett.

Live blog at Reuters Health Summit

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A dozen Reuters reporters are covering the annual Reuters Health Summit in New York, featuring speakers from the world’s leading healthcare companies, including Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Novartis, AstraZeneca, Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly, plus top insurers and the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. Follow the action as it happens:

Beautiful or ugly we’re all in this together – or not

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The massive overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system backed by President Barack Obama could face a court challenge if it is ever enacted into law.

Republican Senator Charles Grassley, speaking at the Reuters Washington Summit, said a number of people, including Republican Senator Orrin Hatch, have questioned whether it is constitutional for the government to require U.S. citizens and residents to purchase a product offered by private, for-profit companies.

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