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Health News 10/2009


FACT CHECK: Loose facts in health horror story (AP via Yahoo! News)
Shona Holmes is the Harry and Louise of this year's health care debate, only unlike the fictional folks who memorably trashed the Clinton-era health plan in advocacy ads 15 years ago, Holmes is real.

Indonesia quake death toll may be thousands: health minister (Reuters via Yahoo! News)
Thousands may have died in an earthquake that struck the city of Padang on Indonesia's Sumatra island, the health minister said on Thursday, with officials saying many victims remain buried under toppled buildings.

Swiss Health Care Thrives Without Public Option (International Herald Tribune)
Many academics who have studied the Swiss health care system suggest it would deliver much of what Washington is aiming to accomplish.

Democrat stands ground after 'die quickly' health care remark (CNN)
Freshman U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson refused to back down Wednesday from remarks made on the House floor the night before, in which he said the Republican health care plan calls for sick people to "die quickly."

Senate Finance Panel Has Votes To Pass Health Bill, Baucus Says (Washington Post)
Democrats on a key Senate panel backed off a plan to impose billions of dollars in new taxes on senior citizens with catastrophic medical expenses Wednesday and defeated Republican amendments on abortion, immigration and other divisive issues, aiming to bring a comprehensive health-care overhaul...

??Cadillac' Health Plans May Be Target of Tax, but Few Agree on a Definition (Washington Post)
NEW YORK -- In the scramble to find money to overhaul the health-care system, Senate Democrats have been eyeing the most generous insurance packages -- what some call the "Cadillac" plans -- as a lucrative target to tax.

Senate Panel Faces Final Hurdle Over How to Fund Health Plan (Bloomberg via Yahoo! News)
Oct. 1 (Bloomberg) -- The Senate Finance Committee, which has resolved issues such as whether to set up a new government insurance program and fund abortions, will now focus on how to pay for the overhaul of the nation’s health-care system.

Health bill survives attacks - vote by week's end? (AP via Yahoo! News)
A White House-backed overhaul of the nation's health care system weathered repeated challenges from Republican critics over taxes, abortion and more on Wednesday, and the bill's architect claimed enough votes to push it through the Senate Finance Committee as early as week's end.

Health bill survives attacks - vote by week's end? (AP via Yahoo! News)
A White House-backed overhaul of the nation's health care system weathered repeated challenges from Republican critics over taxes, abortion and more on Wednesday, and the bill's architect claimed enough votes to push it through the Senate Finance Committee as early as week's end.

Focus on the real health-care risks (CNN Money)
Regular readers of Money Magazine have learned to think a lot about risk. You know that you can't predict every market crash, but you can take steps to lower your exposure to the unexpected. The health-care reform debate we're having in this country happens to be largely about risk.

Health care may hit House, Senate floor mid-month (AP via Yahoo! News)
Historic health care legislation could be on the floor of both houses of Congress as early as mid-October as Democrats work to answer President Barack Obama's call for greater protections for those who have unreliable insurance or no coverage at all.

Health care issues: Medicare payments to doctors (AP via Yahoo! News)
A look at key issues in the health care debate:

EU food safety body delivers opinion on health claims (Reuters via Yahoo! News)
The European Union's food safety watchdog delivered a long-awaited opinion on Thursday to the EU executive arm that will help determine whether food producers' health claims about their products are backed up by science.

Baucus hopes to finish work on health bill today (AP via Yahoo! News)
The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee says he has 'high hopes' of finishing work on a sweeping health care overhaul bill by Thursday night.

Baucus hopes to wrap health bill Thursday (AP via Yahoo! News)
The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee said Thursday he wanted to complete work on a sweeping health care bill by nightfall, opening the way for Democratic leaders to bring the historic legislation to the floors of both the House and Senate as early as mid-October.

Baucus Has 'High Hopes' of Finishing Panel Work on Health Bill by Thursday (Fox News)
The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee said he has "high hopes" of finishing work on a sweeping health care overhaul bill by Thursday night.  Democratic Sen. Max Baucus announced the schedule as he gaveled open the committee Thursday morning for its seventh day of work on a 10-year, $900 billion bill to extend coverage to uninsured Americans.

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

Pelosi: GOP has double standard in health care rhetoric debate (CNN)
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripped congressional Republicans on Thursday for holding Democrats to a higher standard in the rhetoric employed in the often acidic health care debate.

Senate Republicans Say Health-Care Bill Violates Obama's Tax Pledge (Washington Post)
A sweeping overhaul of the nation's health-care system is "riddled" with measures that would violate President Obama's pledge not to raise taxes on middle-class Americans, Republicans on a key Senate panel argued Thursday morning, as they tried to strip a host of fees and taxes from the package.

Leading Democrat vows 'public option' in US health bill (AFP via Yahoo! News)
The Democratic speaker of the US House of Representatives vowed Thursday that lawmakers would approve a health care overhaul bill that includes a controversial government-run "public option" insurance plan.

Female Health's condom available, no U.S. retail yet (Reuters via Yahoo! News)
Female Health Co's new version of its female condom is now available to state health agencies and nonprofit organizations, but the company is still trying to make it more widely available in stores.

U.S. Health Officials Announce New Heparin Formula (HealthDay via Yahoo! News)
THURSDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. health officials on Thursday announced new manufacturing standards for the widely used blood-thinner heparin that will decrease the drug's potency by about 10 percent.

Dems turn back GOP health bill tax amendments (AP via Yahoo! News)
Rejecting Republican amendments, Democrats turned back GOP efforts to cast the health care overhaul as a tax hike on the middle class Thursday, as a crucial Senate panel aimed to wrap up debate on the measure by nightfall.

Republicans Call Health Legislation a Tax Increase (New York Times)
Seizing on a new line of attack, Republican leaders say the proposed health care overhaul is a vehicle for a barrage of hidden and not-so-hidden tax increases.

Dems ease impact of health bill, big advance nears (AP via Yahoo! News)
Fearing a backlash, Democrats smoothed the impact of sweeping health care legislation on working-class families Thursday night and steered President Barack Obama's top domestic priority toward a crucial Senate advance. The most far-reaching overhaul in decades aims to protect millions who have unreliable coverage or none at all.

Dems ease impact of health bill, big advance nears (AP via Yahoo! Finance)
Fearing a backlash, Democrats smoothed the impact of sweeping health care legislation on working-class families Thursday night and steered President Barack Obama's top domestic priority toward a crucial Senate advance.

Health Care Overhaul, Steps Away? (ABC News)
Dems work to smooth impact of health care legislation on working-class families.

Senate committee completes health care debate (CNN)
The Senate Finance Committee completed debate on proposed health care legislation early Friday.

Finance Committee Finishes Its Health-Care Work (Time Magazine)
The Senate Finance Committee -- the most closely watched of the five congressional panels that have jurisdiction over health reform -- worked until after 2 a.m. this morning, finishing its markup of health legislation.

Video Shows Captive Israeli Soldier in Good Health (International Herald Tribune)
Gilal Shalit, held by Hamas, appeared in good health in a video obtained in exchange for the liberation of 19 Palestinian female prisoners on Friday.

G.E. Expects India to Help U.S. Cut Health Care Costs (New York Times)
Health care products and services developed cheaply in the growing Indian market will be exported to Western markets, cutting prices there, according to G.E’s chief executive.

Panel Finishes Work on Health Bill Amendments (New York Times)
In a marathon session, the Senate Finance Committee voted to ease penalties for those without health insurance.

54% Say Major Changes Needed in Health Care System, 45% Disagree (Rasmussen Reports via Yahoo! News)
While voters are skeptical of the health care reform plan working its way through Congress, most believe that major changes are needed in the U.S. health care system.

Health care issues: Expanded Medicaid Eligibility (AP via Yahoo! News)
A look at key issues in the health care debate:

Your most embarrassing health confessions (CNN)
AWOL tampons, gas, losing your breakfast on the doc? To prove that you are so not alone when it comes to mortifying health mishaps, Health readers shared some of their stories with us. And our own medical editor, Roshini Rajapaksa, MD, weighs in on when you really do need to talk to your doctor about an embarrassing episode or symptom.

DOL seeks exemption for Chrysler health care plan (AP via Yahoo! News)
The Labor Department is trying to facilitate Chrysler's move under bankruptcy proceedings to transfer company securities into a new retiree health care trust.

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

A look at health care plans in Congress (AP via Yahoo! News)
Health care legislation is taking shape in the House and Senate as President Barack Obama pushes to overhaul the system to cover millions of uninsured Americans and contain rising costs. Details are still being negotiated and any final health care bill would have to meld proposals from the House and Senate. A look at various proposals:

As Senate panel winds up, historic health debate to start (McClatchy Newspapers via Yahoo! News)
WASHINGTON — Both houses of Congress are poised to start a historic debate on sweeping legislation to overhaul America's health care system, yet despite months of committee deliberations, some major issues remain unsettled.

Health bill fate still in doubt; GOP hits it anew (AP via Yahoo! News)
Barack Obama has pushed closer than any president in generations to creating a basic health care safety net for most Americans, yet the fate of legislation delivering on his promise is far from certain.

Connecticut steps into federal health care debate (AP via Yahoo! News)
Connecticut officials demanded to know Friday if the state's five largest insurance companies have sent policyholders information about a possible impact on Medicare of health care changes debated in Washington.

DOL seeks exemption for Chrysler health care plan (AP via Yahoo! News)
The Labor Department said Friday it was seeking an exemption to facilitate Chrysler's move under bankruptcy proceedings to transfer company securities into a new retiree health care trust.

Health Portfolio Moves (Forbes)
Regardless of the direction of health care reform, demographics trump politics as a driver of investment performance.

Bill Frist on Health Bill: I'd Vote For It (Time Magazine)
Or so the former Senate Republican Leader, a surgeon who has written a new book on health care, told me a few minutes ago in an interview

Dems taunt GOP: Where's your health care plan? (AP via Yahoo! News)
Even as Republicans pummel President Barack Obama's health care proposals, some GOP leaders worry their party is being hurt by a Democratic counterattack: Where is your plan?

Health overhaul closer than ever - and yet far off (AP via Yahoo! News)
Eight months in office, Barack Obama has now pushed closer than any other president in generations to creating a basic health care safety net for working Americans. Yet the fate of legislation delivering on his goal is far from certain: Republicans are nearly unified in opposition, Democrats hardly united in support.

Health care overhaul could raise Medicare Rx costs (AP via Yahoo! News)
Medicare recipients could see higher premiums for prescription drug coverage as a result of changes to complex provisions in a Senate health care bill, a senior Republican said Friday.

Reid's at the Reins in Health-Care Battle (Washington Post)
With the Senate Finance Committee finally poised to complete its work, the volatile health-care debate shifts into closed-door negotiations taking place around the conference room of Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.).

War of Words Over Health Care Cools (Washington Post)
Another storm over health-care rhetoric blew through the House this week, prompting Republicans and Democrats to trade accusations that the other had crossed the line marking good taste and civility in the chamber. But by week's end, the thunder seemed to have passed and both sides appeared ready to...

Health overhaul closer than ever - and yet far off (AP via Yahoo! News)
Eight months in office, Barack Obama has now pushed closer than any other president in generations to creating a basic health care safety net for working Americans. Yet the fate of legislation delivering on his goal is far from certain: Republicans are nearly unified in opposition, Democrats hardly united in support.

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