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Health News 07/2009


Wal-Mart, union back employer health insurance (AP via Yahoo! News)
Wal-Mart is the latest in a line of traditionally Republican-leaning businesses to embrace key portions of President Barack Obama's bid to overhaul health care, a trend that could complicate opponents' efforts to build a united front when Congress ramps up its work on the issue this summer.

Wal-Mart backs employer health insurance mandate (USA Today)
Wal-Mart, a huge company once criticized for its less than generous employee benefits, has embraced President Obama's call for requiring all large employers to offer health insurance to their workers.

Reading Obama's mind on health care (Politico via Yahoo! News)
In the end, there’s only one person who really matters when it comes to getting a health-care overhaul done this year – President Barack Obama – and he’s been maddeningly vague about what he can live with in a plan.

Obama takes health care pitch to Virginia (AP via Yahoo! News)
President Barack Obama is taking his pitch for health care revisions to Virginia, holding a town hall forum and fielding questions via the Internet.

Obama to hold another health care town hall (AP via Yahoo! News)
President Barack Obama will hold another town hall-style session on health care Wednesday.

Poll: Obama health plan has slim majority support (CNN)
A new national poll suggests that a bare majority of Americans support President Obama's health care plan.

Wal-Mart supports employer-mandated health coverage (Reuters via Yahoo! News)
Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the world's largest retailer, said on Tuesday that it supports President Barack Obama's push to require large employers to offer health insurance to workers.

Obama Looks to Town Hall to Further Health Agenda (Washington Post)
President Obama will try to rally Americans behind his health care agenda today with a town hall meeting in Annandale that will include some questions from Northern Virginians and others submitted via online social networking sites.

Obama takes health care pitch to Virginia (USA Today)
President Obama is taking his pitch for health care revisions to Virginia, holding a town hall forum and fielding questions via the Internet.

Health Highlights: July 1, 2009 (HealthDay via Yahoo! News)
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:

Going It Alone When Buying a Health Policy (WallStreet Journal via Yahoo! Finance)
The sour economy is prodding more Americans to buy their own health insurance, a daunting task for people not prepared to navigate the possible pitfalls.

AMA open to government-funded health insurance option (CNN)
The new president of the American Medical Association, which represents the interests of the nation's doctors, said Wednesday the group is open to a government-funded health insurance option for people without coverage.

Emotion, few details, in Obama's health care pitch (AP via Yahoo! News)
President Barack Obama wanted to put a human face on his plans to overhaul health care, and a Virginia supporter did just that Wednesday.

Argentina gets new health minister amid swine flu (AP via Yahoo! News)
Argentina swore in a new health minister on Wednesday as the spreading swine flu epidemic prompted schools nationwide to give students an early vacation and one province to declare a public health emergency.

Dems circulate revised health care plan (USA Today)
Democrats on a key Senate committee are circulating details of a revised health care plan that includes a government-backed insurance option and a fee on employers if they do not offer coverage to their workers.

President Pushes Health Plan as an Economic Boon (New York Times)
At a town-hall-style meeting, President Obama pushed his proposal for a health care overhaul as a cost-saver rather than an expenditure.

Emotion, few details, in Obama's health care pitch (AP via Yahoo! News)
President Barack Obama wanted to put a human face on his plans to overhaul health care, and a Virginia supporter did just that Wednesday. Fighting back tears, Debby Smith, 53, told Obama of her kidney cancer and her inability to obtain health insurance or hold a job.

Overuse of energy drinks worries health pros (USA Today)
Health experts are sounding the alarm over the possible effects on young athletes of popular energy drinks such as Red Bull, the leading brand in a growing market. High school and college athletes are increasingly consuming large quantities of these caffeine-loaded drinks to boost athletic performance or lose weight, said a dozen health experts at the SUNY Youth Sports Institute's first national ...

New Dem health plan has public option, lower cost (AP via Yahoo! News)
Democrats on a key Senate Committee outlined a revised and far less costly health care plan Wednesday night that includes a government-run insurance option and an annual fee on employers who do not offer coverage to their workers.

Electronic health records: A checkup (CNN Money)
Getting an electronic health record system in place by 2014? Tough.

Health care reform: What small business wants (CNN Money)
As Congress prepares to do battle over health reform, a parallel dispute is shaping up among small-business groups that are staking out opposing positions on a key element of reform proposals: whether Uncle Sam will take on a bigger role in offering insurance coverage or leave the field to the private market.

Key Senate Democrats trim cost of health care bill (USA Today)
Determined to advance President Obama's health care agenda, key Senate Democrats are calling for a government-run insurance option to compete with private plans, as well as a $750-per-worker annual fee on larger companies that do not offer coverage to employees.

Revised Senate Health Bill Includes Employer Mandate, Public Plan Option (CQPolitics.com via Yahoo! News)
Revised draft health care legislation would result in insurance coverage for 97 percent of Americans at a lower cost than expected -- about $611 billion over 10 years, leaders of a key Senate committee say.

Health care call goes awry (Politico via Yahoo! News)
Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) tried to announce some positive news about the cost of health reform Thursday, but hardly anyone could hear him and other senators over the coughing, yawning and sustained chorus of Muzak.

Health Care Reform... Now Half Off? (ABC News)
Senate Dems are unveiling a new non-partisan analysis of their health care reform plan that dramatically cuts the estimated cost.

Health Highlights: July 2, 2009 (HealthDay via Yahoo! News)
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:

Key Senate Democrats trim cost of health care bill (AP via Yahoo! News)
Determined to advance President Barack Obama's health care agenda, key Senate Democrats are calling for a government-run insurance option to compete with private plans, as well as a $750-per-worker annual fee on larger companies that do not offer coverage to employees.

Going It Alone When Buying a Health Policy (WallStreet Journal via Yahoo! Finance)
The sour economy is prodding more Americans to buy their own health insurance, a daunting task for people not prepared to navigate the possible pitfalls.

Revised Senate Health Bill Includes Employer Mandate, Public Plan Option (CQPolitics.com via Yahoo! News)
Revised health overhaul legislation under development in the Senate would result in insurance coverage for 97 percent of Americans, leaders of a key committee said Thursday, though the total cost is still unknown.

New estimate puts health care price tag at $611 billion (CNN)
A health-care reform bill that includes a public insurance plan and requires employers to cover workers would cost $611 billion over 10 years, far less than previous estimates, according to a new analysis from Congress.

Sens. Kennedy, Dodd unveil cheaper health care bill (McClatchy Newspapers via Yahoo! News)
WASHINGTON — The Senate health committee's top two Democrats on Thursday rolled out a revamped plan to overhaul health care that would cost $611 billion over 10 years — far less than their previous version — but would impose a tax on many employers.

Health care: Will 'pay or play' chase employers away? (CNN Money)
It is one of the touchiest issues in the health care debate: Would a government-run health plan upend the employer-based health insurance system used by 160 million Americans?

Obama, Party Tout Lower Figure for Health Reform (Washington Post)
Senate Democrats and President Obama, trying to assuage fears about the cost of health reform, yesterday touted new estimates that put the price tag for one bill at $611 billion over the next decade.

Obama Supports ÃÂRobust' Protection for Catholic Health-Care Workers (Washington Post)
President Barack Obama said today that he still favors a "robust" federal policy protecting health-care workers who have moral objections to performing some procedures even though he plans to roll back a Bush administration rule that expanded such protection.

Obama, Party Tout Lower Figure for Health Reform (Washington Post)
Senate Democrats and President Obama, trying to assuage fears about the cost of health reform, yesterday touted new estimates that put the price tag for one bill at $611 billion over the next decade.

Kennedy Plan Calls for Government Health Program, Employer Fees (Bloomberg via Yahoo! News)
July 3 (Bloomberg) -- Senator Edward Kennedy’s health committee released a new health-care overhaul plan that lawmakers said would lead to coverage for most Americans, in part by assessing fees on companies that don’t offer insurance.

Senate bill fines people refusing health coverage (AP via Yahoo! News)
Americans who refuse to buy affordable medical coverage could be hit with fines of more than $1,000 under a health care overhaul bill unveiled Thursday by key Senate Democrats looking to fulfill President Barack Obama's top domestic priority.

Revisions to Health Bill Are Unveiled by Democrats (New York Times)
Action by the leaders of the Senate health committee cleared the way for a vote by the panel next week.

Senate bill fines people refusing health coverage (AP via Yahoo! News)
Americans who refuse to buy affordable medical coverage could be hit with fines of more than $1,000 under a health care overhaul bill unveiled Thursday by key Senate Democrats looking to fulfill President Barack Obama's top domestic priority.

New Report Shows LGBT Health Disparities (The Advocate via Yahoo! News)
A new report on the health and human service needs of LGBT people in New York state shows significant disparities compared to non-LGBT people, mirroring national trends exacerbated by lack of adequate data and homophobia.

Why British Health Officials Say Swine Flu is Nothing to Party About (Time Magazine)
Reports of 'swine flu parties' have British health officials warning parents of "seriously flawed thinking", even as the country shifts its policy on treating the pandemic in the face of the virus' rapid spread

Under Senate health care plan, either way you pay (AP via Yahoo! News)
First you paid to insure your car. Soon you may have to add health insurance premiums to that stack of monthly bills as well.

Senate Health Care Plan Would Impose $1,000 Fines for Refusing Coverage (Fox News)
In a revamped health care system envisioned by senators, people would be required to carry health insurance just like motorists must get auto coverage now.

Going It Alone When Buying a Health Policy (WallStreet Journal via Yahoo! Finance)
The sour economy is prodding more Americans to buy their own health insurance, a daunting task for people not prepared to navigate the possible pitfalls.

UPI NewsTrack Health and Science News (UPI)
New 'river blindness' drug shows promise ... Tamiflu-resistant swine flu reported ... Older forests store more carbon ... NOW Foods recalls whey products ... Health/Science news from UPI.

Health insurers withdraw R.I. rate hike requests (The Providence Journal)
But those covered by the state's three commercial health plans will still see increases when they renew their policies.

SKorea's health spending grows fastest among OECD (Asia News Network)
Korea's health spending from 2000 to 2007 grew at the fastest pace among the member economies of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the OECD said Thursday.

Health groups back tobacco treaty (Louisville Courier-Journal)
With legislation to strengthen tobacco regulation now signed into law, public health groups are pushing for the Senate to ratify a treaty on tobacco control that has languished for five years.

Dodd, Kennedy propose employer tax in health care plan (Hartford Courant)
The Senate health committee's top two Democrats on Thursday rolled out a revamped plan to overhaul health care that would cost $611 billion over 10 years — far less than their previous version — but would impose a tax on many employers.

Quinn fires head of health board (Chicago Sun-Times)
Gov. Quinn has fired a high-ranking employee who oversaw a state board that is the gatekeeper for hospital and other health-care construction projects throughout Illinois. Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board Executive Secretary Jeffrey Mark was dismissed quietly Tuesday -- the same day the General Assembly and Quinn signed off on a plan to kill the five-member board and replace it with a ...

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