Poll: Sharp split on health care repeal – POLITICO.com Print View

February 27, 2012

Americans are deeply divided over whether a Republican president should repeal President Barack Obama’s health care law if elected this November, a new poll Monday shows, although the vast majority of those surveyed believe the individual mandate is unconstitutional.

Gallup found that 47 percent of Americans want a GOP president to repeal the law, while 44 percent oppose that.

via Poll: Sharp split on health care repeal – POLITICO.com Print View.


Contraception Conundrum — The American Magazine

February 23, 2012

What makes the contraception coverage debate currently raging in Washington unusually problematic is that both sides are exactly right. Female employees who receive part of their cash compensation in the form of health benefits have the right to benefits that include FDA-approved birth control methods. Employers defined by their religious values—not just churches, synagogues, and mosques, but also thousands of hospitals, universities, and charities—should not have to compromise those values with their own money, and the government has no right to trample the First Amendment by compelling them to do so. The Obama administration’s “accommodation” last week—shifting the new federal requirement to the insurers who administer those organizations’ health plans—is a cynical shell game that ignores the most basic tenets of business accounting.

via Contraception Conundrum — The American Magazine.


Bad cuts in Obama’s global health budget « The Enterprise Blog

February 22, 2012

One wonders what those working in the U.S. malaria program must think when their stellar work is rewarded with cuts, while corrupt multilaterals get more funding. European leaders may publicly applaud Obama’s support of these multilateral initiatives, but secretly they’ll be pleased that Obama is bailing them out.

Conservatives in Congress should demand no increase in the budget to the Global Fund (and a 50 percent cut if Global Fund doesn’t properly address the corruption problems), rather than the increase Obama proposes.

Congressional conservatives should also, as a sign of their desire to assist the less fortunate, demand the reinstatement of the U.S. government’s desired malaria budget and an increase in the TB budget. They can do this, save more lives, and cut the budget more than Obama proposes.

via Bad cuts in Obama’s global health budget « The Enterprise Blog.


The hidden danger of fake and substandard medicines – Health – AEI

February 22, 2012

My upcoming book “Phake: The Deadly World of Falsified and Substandard Pharmaceuticals” (Rowman & Littlefield, 2012) is the result of a seven year investigation into the deadly world of ineffective medicines, which kill between 100,000 to a million people every year. The wide-ranging estimates show how little we know about the extent of the problem. In some cases the medicines are poorly made by inattentive or negligent manufacturers, in others, faux products containing chalk or road paint are sold by criminal gangs as life-saving hypertensives, antibiotics or TB medicines.

via The hidden danger of fake and substandard medicines – Health – AEI.


91% of small healthcare organizations suffered a data breach in the last year – FierceHealthIT

February 22, 2012

Nearly all small healthcare organizations and practices responding to a recent survey said they’ve suffered some sort of data breach in the past year, the Ponemon Institute announced this week. Overall, 91 percent of responding facilities with 250 employees or less said they had suffered at least one data breach, with 23 percent of respondents saying that their organizations experienced at least one patient medical identity theft in that time span.

via 91% of small healthcare organizations suffered a data breach in the last year – FierceHealthIT.


Insurers to rebate consumers $323M this year – FierceHealthPayer

February 22, 2012

Insurers must start disclosing information regarding insurance coverage they provide to their consumers and, if they spend less than 80 percent of premium dollars on healthcare, they must rebate consumers. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services predicts that insurers will be returning about $323 million to consumers this year, according to UPI.

via Insurers to rebate consumers $323M this year – FierceHealthPayer.


Court action could prolong health care fight – USATODAY.com

February 22, 2012

On the first day of their historic session March 26-28, the justices will consider that policy and address whether people who challenge the insurance requirement must first pay the disputed tax and seek a refund before bringing a lawsuit. If the answer is yes, the legal fight over a key part of the law could be delayed, possibly until 2015.

None of the main parties to the litigation is arguing for that option, which would prolong confusion over the law’s constitutionality. Yet the high court could find that the law demands it. Further, the nine justices are deeply divided ideologically, and the option might be a way to avoid deepening the fault lines and edge the court out of the spotlight this election year.

via Court action could prolong health care fight – USATODAY.com.


Catholic university sues to block Obama’s contraception mandate – The Hill’s Healthwatch

February 22, 2012

A small Catholic university sued the Obama administration Tuesday over the controversial order requiring that insurance companies cover birth control.

The suit was filed on behalf of Ave Maria University in a federal court in Florida. University President Jim Towey, who led the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives during the George W. Bush administration, said the pushback against the White House’s policy will keep growing.

via Catholic university sues to block Obama’s contraception mandate – The Hill’s Healthwatch.


Supreme Court adds more time for oral arguments on Obama healthcare law – The Hill’s Healthwatch

February 22, 2012

The Supreme Court on Tuesday added even more time for oral arguments in the landmark case over President Obama’s healthcare reform law.

The justices added an extra 30 minutes to hear arguments over whether they have the authority to decide whether the law’s individual mandate is constitutional. That brings the case to a total of six hours. It was already set to be the longest argument in the court’s modern history.

via Supreme Court adds more time for oral arguments on Obama healthcare law – The Hill’s Healthwatch.


Hospitals Demand Payment Upfront From ER Patients With Routine Problems – Kaiser Health News

February 22, 2012

Last year, about 80,000 emergency-room patients at hospitals owned by HCA, the nation’s largest for-profit hospital chain, left without treatment after being told they would have to first pay $150 because they did not have a true emergency.

Led by the Nashville-based HCA, a growing number of hospitals have implemented the pay-first policy in an effort to divert patients with routine illnesses from the ER after they undergo a federally required screening. At least half of all hospitals nationwide now charge upfront ER fees, said Rick Gundling, vice president of the Healthcare Financial Management Association, which represents health-care finance executives.

via Hospitals Demand Payment Upfront From ER Patients With Routine Problems – Kaiser Health News.


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