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Health News 09/2009


Calls for bipartisanship rise as health care debate nears (CNN)
As Congress prepares to come back from its August recess and tackle health care reform, the question arises whether lawmakers will do something in honor of the "Lion of the Senate" -- or should Congress simply start over?

Sen. Grassley: No public option in health reform (AP via Yahoo! News)
Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley said Monday he remains hopeful a limited health care reform measure can be negotiated, but that a small bipartisan group of senators working on the issue agrees a government-run public option won't be part of the package.

House Dems plot health care comeback (Politico via Yahoo! News)
In late July, Arkansas Rep. Vic Snyder was a fired-up partisan, declaring that health care was going to be transformed “under President Obama’s leadership.”

Democrats Focus on Health Care in California Election (New York Times)
In a special election for a congressional seat in a solidly Democratic part of San Francisco, health care has been a topic of choice for several candidates.

Health care: Lowering costs for old could raise them for young (USA Today)
For years, insurers have charged older customers far more than younger ones, in part because of older residents' higher use of medical services. Now, as Congress wrestles with a health care overhaul aimed at covering the majority of the 46 million uninsured, that discrepancy is one area targeted for change.

U.S. health reform estimates need long view: study (Reuters via Yahoo! News)
The Congressional Budget Office may be missing potential savings from various health reform proposals by not looking at efforts to manage or prevent expensive, chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, researchers said in a study released on Tuesday.

Mexico's health care lures Americans (USA Today)
As the United States debates an overhaul of its health care system, thousands of American retirees in Mexico have quietly found a solution of their own, signing up for the health care plan run by the Mexican Social Security Institute.

Drive-Thru Medical: Retail Health Clinics Get Good Marks (Time Magazine)
Two new Rand Corp. studies suggest that retail health clinics can offer cheaper, better-quality care for common medical complaints than doctors, urgent-care providers and ERs

The AARP and Seniors: Clashing Views on Health Reform (Time.com via Yahoo! News)
The 40 million-member advocacy group, after all, signed on early as a key supporter of President Obama's health-care-reform plan, and now it finds itself on the defensive, scrambling to win back much of its own membership

Medsphere Raises $12 Million for Health Records (New York Times)
Taking the U.S.’s rickety paper-based system of health records and turning it into a state-of-the-art electronic one is no small task. But someone’s got to do it.

CVS Caremark: The one-stop health stock (CNN Money)
The controversy over health-insurance reform has cast a pall over usually robust health-care stocks. But even as that sector has lagged the S&P 500 this year, two subgroups have thrived: drug chains such as Walgreen, whose shares have jumped 24% since 2008, and pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs) such as Medco, up 30%.

Company wellness programs improve health, cut costs (CNN)
Employee wellness programs just may be the cure for companies struggling to keep up with rapidly rising health care costs.

Libya: Lockerbie bomber's health quickly worsening (AP via Yahoo! News)
The health of the Lockerbie bomber, who has terminal prostate cancer, has swiftly deteriorated since his release from a Scottish prison less than two weeks ago, a senior Libyan official said Tuesday.

F for Flu : US enlists Sesame Street in health drive (AFP via Yahoo! News)
As US kids go back to school facing a likely resurgence of (A)H1N1 flu, the US government Tuesday enlisted Sesame Street muppets Elmo and Gordon in a new health campaign.

Health Experts Look for Ways to Fight Spread of Dengue Fever (New York Times)
The beginning of the transmission season for many countries in Southeast Asia has prompted heightened concern among health officials.

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

U.S. health reform estimates need long view: study (Reuters via Yahoo! News)
The Congressional Budget Office may be missing potential savings from various health reform proposals by not looking at efforts to manage or prevent expensive, chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, researchers said in a study released on Tuesday.

New health care ads seek to pressure Iowa senator (AP via Yahoo! News)
A new television ad campaign seeks to ratchet up pressure on Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley among his constituents to accept sweeping reforms to the nation's health care system.

Dems hope September alters health care debate (AP via Yahoo! News)
For backers of health care overhaul, it's TGIS: Thank goodness it's September.

White House: Obama may detail health plans soon (AP via Yahoo! News)
President Barack Obama, faced with falling approval ratings and increasingly impatient with Senate negotiations over health care, is weighing a shift in strategy that would offer more details of his goals for overhauling the nation's health care system.

Changing Health Care by Steps (New York Times)
Years passed before America accepted the concept of Medicare, and any health reform approved today will be only an incremental step toward change.

Health care lobbyists boost key players in debate (USA Today)
As the debate intensifies in Congress, health care sector contributions to lawmakers on the committees overseeing the massive change to the nation's health care system are on the upswing rising 8% between the first and second quarter of the year, according to data compiled by the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics.

GOP senators seek go-slow approach on health care (AP via Yahoo! News)
An odd couple of Republican senators have hit the road, arguing for a go-slow approach to President Barack Obama's push to revamp health care.

Health care advocates pressure Iowa Sen. Grassley (AP via Yahoo! News)
A new television ad campaign seeks to ratchet up pressure on Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley among his constituents to accept sweeping reforms to the nation's health care system, but even his political opponents concede there's little that can be done to scare the veteran Republican lawmaker.

AARP raises its voice in health care debate (USA Today)
AARP, which has lost tens of thousands of members over its support for efforts to revamp the health care system, is preparing a post-Labor Day blitz to try to cast itself as a politically impartial advocate on health care issues.

'Hot' jobs? Health care, energy, many not requiring bachelor's (USA Today)
The hottest job areas from now to 2016 will be in health care, education, information technology and clean energy, a new report says. And though some require bachelor's degrees or higher, many call for an associate's degree and sometimes additional vocational training.

Obama may get more specific about health overhaul (AP via Yahoo! News)
President Barack Obama has talked a lot about health care lately, but some allies say he has been too vague and standoffish. Now he's thinking of throwing more details and personal weight into the debate, which polls indicate Republicans have been winning in recent weeks.

Obama to Begin New Health-Care Offensive, Aide Says (Bloomberg via Yahoo! News)
Sept. 2 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama may offer more detailed, “prescriptive” proposals as he begins a new offensive to overcome opposition to his effort to overhaul the U.S. health-care system, a senior adviser said.

Kerry plans health care meeting in Massachusetts (AP via Yahoo! News)
Sen. John Kerry is holding a town hall meeting in Massachusetts on the health care overhaul about a week after the death of Edward Kennedy, a champion of the bill.

Report: U.S. sanctions put Cubans' health at risk (CNN)
The U.S. trade embargo on Cuba is endangering the health of millions by limiting Cubans' access to medicines and medical technology, human rights group Amnesty International alleged Wednesday.

Obama aims to reset health care debate, aides say (CNN)
President Obama, facing wavering support to overhaul health care, is looking at ways to recapture momentum on his signature domestic initiative, key White House aides said Wednesday.

Obama Plans More Direct Push on Health Overhaul (New York Times)
Amid slipping support during the Congressional break, the president is likely to deliver a televised speech and for the first time put in writing the elements of a health care plan.

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

GOP senator says health care talks still on (AP via Yahoo! News)
The top Senate Republican negotiator on health care insists that bipartisan talks will continue despite White House suggestions that GOP bargainers have not acted in good faith.

Beyond Hysterics: The Health Care Model That Works (Forbes)
As America agonizes over remaking health care, it might check out a private/public system that has been in place for years--the one in Germany.

Rodale and the Obamas Make a Case for Health (and Health Care) (New York Times)
The Obamas make their pitch for health care changes to magazines in the Rodale group.

At Vigils, Support Shown for Health-Care Bill (Washington Post)
Amid ongoing debate over health-care reform, thousands gathered Wednesday night at events held across the nation, including at least four in the Washington area, to urge Congress and the Obama Administration to approve a bill soon.

Sources: Obama, GOP's Snowe work on health care compromise (CNN)
President Obama and top aides have quietly stepped up talks with moderate Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine on a scaled-back health care bill, according to two sources familiar with the negotiations.

Obama to Address Congress on Health-Care Reform (Washington Post)
After spending weeks on the defensive in the fight over his top legislative priority, President Obama will attempt to regain the initiative in the health-care debate with an address to a joint session of Congress next Wednesday night.

Big speech: Obama wants control of health debate (AP via Yahoo! News)
President Barack Obama will deliver a major prime-time health care address to Congress next week, opening an urgent autumn push to gain control of the debate that has been slipping from his grasp under withering Republican-led attacks.

Kerry says he'll carry on Kennedy health care push (AP via Yahoo! News)
Sen. John Kerry said Wednesday he would take up one of Sen. Edward Kennedy's key political fights, pledging to the thousands who attended his town hall meeting to push for the health care overhaul championed by his longtime Democratic colleague.

Obama moves to retake health care debate (USA Today)
President Obama's decision to speak to Congress and the nation on health care next week raises the stakes after a month of contentious town-hall meetings and falling public support.

UK study suggests drastic health care cuts (AP via Yahoo! News)
Britain's universal health care system was back in the spotlight Thursday, as a leaked consultants' report advised drastic staff and budget cuts, and a group of senior doctors expressed concern about the treatment of dying patients.

Paying for health care in retirement (CNN Money)
Jim and Cindy Hughes, both 47, are thinking about an issue most people don't confront until it's too late: health-care costs in retirement.

The crazy math of health-care reform (CNN Money)
This is the sixth installment in a series of health-care columns by Fortune's Shawn Tully.

Health workers urged to use special masks for flu (AP via Yahoo! News)
Health workers caring for patients who have or may have swine flu should wear a special type of mask called an N95 respirator, not looser-fitting surgical masks, the Institute of Medicine advised Thursday.

Finger bitten off during California health protest (AP via Yahoo! News)
California authorities say a clash between opponents and supporters of health care reform ended with one man biting off another man's finger.

Obama aims to take control of health care debate (AP via Yahoo! News)
Hoping to salvage his politically endangered health care overhaul, President Barack Obama will give a State of the Union-style address featuring fresh and more detailed arguments for revamping the system.

Health Highlights: Sept. 3, 2009 (HealthDay via Yahoo! News)
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:

President to focus on health care specifics, Biden says (CNN)
Vice President Joe Biden promised Thursday that President Obama will delve into specifics when he tackles health care reform in a highly anticipated speech to a joint session of Congress next week.

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