Tales from the Trail

Senator Coburn cites Thomson Reuters at healthcare summit

USA-HEALTHCARE/Republican Senator Tom Coburn is obviously a big fan of Thomson Reuters. He cited Thomson Reuters reports throughout his presentation at the White House healthcare summit.

Coburn, an Oklahoma physician who opposes the sweeping Democratic healthcare overhaul, said lawmakers should focus first on reducing hundreds of billions of dollars of wasteful spending in the U.S. healthcare system. He cited recent studies by Thomson Reuters showing wasteful spending and how patients are postponing medical care due to cost.

They can be found here, here and here.

Coburn often cited these reports during Senate debate on healthcare reform. He wants to bring down costs by tackling waste, fraud and abuse, and limiting medical malpractice lawsuits. And like most doctors, he wants us to live healthy lifestyles and avoid junk food. He also wants to change some popular government programs that he said are contributing to unhealthy eating habits.

“We actually create more diabetes through the food stamp program and the school lunch program than probably any other thing,” Coburn said.

Click here for more political news from Reuters.

Photo credit: REUTERS/Jason Reed (U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius does an arm-bump greeting to avoid catching U.S. Senator Tom Coburn’s cold at U.S. healthcare summit, February 25, 2010.)

The First Draft: Achoo

The U.S. government wants you to know the H1N1 swine flu vaccine is safe. FLU/VACCINE-USA

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius blanketed morning television talk shows with basically the one message. “This definitely is a safe vaccine for people to get,” she said on NBC’s “Today” show, urging the public to visit flu.gov.

People are worried, but how much depends on which poll you look at.

A Consumer Reports survey last month found that nearly two-thirds of American parents said they would hold off having their children vaccinated against the H1N1 swine flu or wouldn’t get them immunized at all, expressing wariness about whether the new vaccine had been tested enough.

A Harvard School of Public Health survey earlier this month found that 75 percent of parents would get the swine flu vaccine for their children.

The First Draft: Trying again on healthcare

USA-HEALTHCARE/OBAMASenate Democrats will take up healthcare again today after a tough week.

Republican opposition is building after independent auditors estimated their initial efforts could cost more and cover fewer than initially hoped, reducing the chance of winning the bipartisan support that could ensure that any reforms will last.

Republican Sen. John McCain gave Reuters a grim prognosis last Friday and said the next few days will determine whether the effort succeeds or fails.

But Democratic Sen. Max Baucus still thinks he can get a bipartisan bill to President Obama by the end of the year.

First Draft: Queen tea

Protesters hijacked April Fools Day, spinning it into “Financial Fools Day” in London where President Barack Obama and other world leaders are attending the G20 summit.

BRITAIN-POLITICS/Meanwhile back at the Palace, Obama and wife Michelle are invited for tea with the Queen. Will the first lady’s curtsy meet muster?

A little detente is in the air. The United States and Russia saying they will pursue a new deal to cut nuclear warheads as the former Cold War rivals try to rebuild relations after the recent chill.

Obama’s vice president a ‘he?’

sebelius.jpgRALEIGH, North Carolina – Barack Obama won’t say yet who his running mate will be but on Tuesday he did describe the qualities he wants in a vice president.

Briefly put: “he” will be the opposite of Dick Cheney, the man who hclinton.jpgcurrently holds the office.

“My vice president will be a member of the executive branch, he won’t be one of these fourth branches of government where he thinks he’s above the law,” Obama told a crowd in North Carolina.