First Edition: August 5, 2010

Today's health policy headlines examine the solvency of Medicare and Social Security; the momentum of legislation in Congress to provide states with Medicaid assistance; and the impact of Missouri's ballot challenge to health reform.  

Prognosis Guarded For Medicare And Social Security
Medicare and Social Security — the foundation of a secure retirement — are facing strains from an aging population and an economy that can't seem to get out of low gear (The Associated Press).

Reid: Voters Like Health Law If They Understand It
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) responded today to a Missouri vote that Republicans call a rebuke to the sweeping new health law by saying voters like the legislation better the more they know more about it (The Wall Street Journal).

State Aid Bill To Bring House Back
Surprising even themselves, Democrats broke through Republican lines in the Senate Wednesday and moved quickly to call the House back into session to complete passage of a long-sought fiscal aid bill intended to avert layoffs of state workers and public school teachers this fall (Politico).

Pelosi Calls On House To Return Next Week To Move $26 Billion State Aid Package
Speaker Nancy Pelosi threw lawmakers' summer plans into chaos Wednesday, announcing the House will interrupt its six-week recess and return to Washington next week to act on Medicaid and education funding for states (The Hill).

Aid Package Aimed At Saving State Jobs Passes Key Hurdle In Senate
An emergency plan to save the jobs of tens of thousands of public school teachers and other government workers overcame a key Senate hurdle Wednesday, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she would summon lawmakers back from their August break to finish work on the measure (The Washington Post).

Senate Clears Way For $26 Billion In State Aid
The Senate on Wednesday cleared the way for a $26 billion package of aid to states and school districts, and the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, said she would summon members from their summer recess to grant final approval to the bill (The New York Times).

Senate Musters The Votes For Aid To States
Overcoming the threat of a Republican filibuster, the Senate on Wednesday cleared the way for approving a $26-billion aid package for cash-strapped states that is expected to keep 138,000 teachers from being laid off nationwide and sustain medical care for the poor (Los Angeles Times).

Congress Set To Boost Aid To States
Congress took a decisive step Wednesday toward finalizing a $26 billion bill offering aid to states, a surprise win for Democrats keen to demonstrate they're taking action on an economy showing signs of weakness (The Wall Street Journal).

Missouri Vote Cited As Proof That Public Dislikes Health-Care Overhaul
A day after Missouri voters rejected a key component of the nation's new health-care overhaul, Republicans seized on the result as conclusive evidence that Americans don't like the law (The Washington Post).

Missouri Vote Puts Health Care Back In Crosshairs
Missouri voters' overwhelming opposition to requiring nearly all Americans to buy health insurance puts one of the least popular parts of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law back in the political crosshairs (The Associated Press). 

Vote Sets Stage For New Health-Plan Challenges
Opponents of the Obama administration's health-care overhaul said Missouri voters' rejection of a key plank could re-energize the push in other states to challenge the measure (The Wall Street Journal).

Missouri Voters Stage Revolt Against Obama Health-Care Reform
Missourians voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to overturn a core element of President Obama's health-care reform, becoming the first voters in the nation to render a symbolic verdict on the controversial law (The Christian Science Monitor).

Report: 'Stigma' At State Department For Those Seeking Mental Health Treatment
The State Department is moving to improve how it handles mental health services for employees coming back from high-stress or high-threat postings, but there's still a great deal of stigma attached to seeking this kind of help and the department needs to do more, according to a new internal report (The Washington Post).

2,000 Attend Free Health Clinic At D.C. Convention Center
Back from the wilds of Virginia, where he hunts black bears with a bow and arrow and squirrels with a shotgun, John Hawkins was sitting in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, shaking in his work boots (The Washington Post).

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