Daily Health Care News – 8/13/09

NEWS

Obama Injects Himself Into Health Talks, Despite RisksNew York Times

In pursuing his proposed overhaul of the health care system, President Obama has consistently presented himself as aloof from the legislative fray, merely offering broad principles. Prominent among them is the creation of a strong, government-run insurance plan to compete with private insurers and press for lower costs.

Former exec: Insurers fomenting town hall chaos - The Hill

A former health insurance executive says the disruptions taking place at lawmakers’ town halls around the country are the result of stealth efforts by health insurance companies.

Thousands Line Up for Promise of Free Health CareNew York Times

They came for new teeth mostly, but also for blood pressure checks, mammograms, immunizations and acupuncture for pain. Neighboring South Los Angeles is a place where health care is scarce, and so when it was offered nearby, word got around.

Survey: Small businesses express support for public health option - Lincoln Journal Star

Barb and Dennis Barnhill are caught in the middle of a modern health insurance nightmare.

Obama’s health-care tour: Westward - The Swamp

As debate over his health-care overhaul heats up, President Obama is taking off for a family vacation this week that combines classic American sightseeing with the challenge of trying to sell his ideas to audiences out West.

OPINION

Health Reform and Small Business - New York Times

The impact on small businesses has become a flashpoint in the increasingly raucous debate over health care reform. Trade associations are charging that the pending bills — which would require all businesses to provide coverage to their employees or pay a penalty — would place a huge financial burden on their members. Republican leaders are doing their best to inflame the fears and opposition of small business owners.

Is this 1994 All Over Again? An Interview with Nancy-Ann DeParleEzra Klein

Nancy-Ann DeParle is the director of the White House Office on Health Reform. But she’s been around this issue a long time. In 1994, she was the Office of Management and Budget’s point person on health care, and later in the Clinton administration, she oversaw the powerful Health Care Financing Administration, and served as a commissioner on MedPAC. We spoke Tuesday about the similarities between this health-care reform effort and 1994, what is left to be decided in the Finance Committee, and what the administration promised the pharmaceutical industry. A lightly edited transcript follows.

Are The Health Care Protests Working? And are Liberals Helping Them? - Five Thirty Eight

It’s been interesting to digest the interaction between liberal and conservative blogs on the issue of the health care protests. If you take a look at a service like Memorandum, you’ll find that stories about the protests have almost always been the lede in the blogosphere over the course of the past 10-14 days. There are daily, and sometimes even hourly, ebbs and flows in who seems to be pushing the stories — conservative blogs one day, liberal blogs the next. But both sides seem to feel as though they have something to gain. Quite frankly, I’ve felt a little lost here. The coverage has been so intensely partisan on both sides that it’s hard to get any real idea about what the protests are really like on the ground: who is protesting, how many are protesting, what they’re protesting about (the answer is not as obvious it might seem), in which sorts of districts the protesters live, and how all of this is affecting the views of average Americans on the health care reform bills pending before Congress (and more importantly, the views of the 535 Congressmen who will ultimately have to vote on the package).

The Whole Foods Alternative to ObamaCareWall Street Journal

With a projected $1.8 trillion deficit for 2009, several trillions more in deficits projected over the next decade, and with both Medicare and Social Security entitlement spending about to ratchet up several notches over the next 15 years as Baby Boomers become eligible for both, we are rapidly running out of other people’s money. These deficits are simply not sustainable. They are either going to result in unprecedented new taxes and inflation, or they will bankrupt us.

Top Five Health Care Lies — and How to Fight BackChange.org

The health care fight has turned ugly, fast. And lies about reform are spreading via anonymous email chains. Here are the real facts that you need to know: