Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tuesday Tidbits

  • Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus is holding off on the release of his healthcare reform bill until he can get his funding problems straightened out according to the Politico. Business Insurance similarly reports that House Democrats are struggling to find a way to fund this initiative. Meanwhile, Congressional Republicans, according to CNN.com, continue to pitch their more modest reform bill.

  • Meanwhile, Modern Healthcare reports that the American Medical Association's House of Delegates is debating a resolution on the public option. After the current AMA President Nancy Nielsen spoke against the health insurance industry, the House voted to remove from the resolution a line reading that the AMA "oppose[s] those alternatives that would risk the elimination of a healthy competitive market for private health insurance.” I expect that the AMA President might steal the line of the ALPA president who reportedly remarked that "We don't want to kill the golden goose. We just want to choke it by the neck until it gives us every last egg."

  • The Wall Street Journal reports today that "The [Senate Finance] committee is close to settling on a plan that would create state-run marketplaces where private health-insurance companies would compete to offer coverage. To answer demands from Democrats including Mr. Obama that a public plan be offered as well, the committee is heavily favoring nonprofit cooperatives that would be governed by their members and would compete inside the new insurance exchanges, people familiar with the matter said."

  • Government HIT News reports that the new HHS Health Information Technology Policy Committee is setting an aggressive schedule for implementing a program -- required by the 2009 recovery act -- to pay doctors and other health care providers bonuses for their "meaningful use" of health information technology.

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