First Edition: August 12, 2010

Some of today's headlines highlight how the new health reform law is playing beyond Washington, D.C.'s beltway.

With Many Still In Dark, Groups Shed Light On Health Care Law
True or false: The new health care law will cut Medicare benefits for seniors. It will slash Medicare payments to doctors. It will ration health care (USA Today).

Grim Voter Mood Turns Grimmer
Americans are growing more pessimistic about the economy and the war in Afghanistan, and are losing faith that Democrats have better solutions than Republicans, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. … The survey suggests that Democrats should expect little if any appreciation from voters for legislative achievements such as overhauling the health care and financial systems. Six in 10 Americans rated Congress' performance this year as below average or one of the worst (The Wall Street Journal).

Waiting In The Wings To Be Chief GOP Dealmaker
Mr. Ryan, as you may have heard, is the Republican star of the moment. A 40-year-old from southeastern Wisconsin serving his sixth term in the House, Mr. Ryan has been getting a lot of attention for his "Roadmap for America's Future," an unusually austere proposal to vanquish the federal debt by, among other things, partly dismantling Social Security and Medicare as they currently exist (The New York Times).

Lawmakers In Most States Have Little Control Over Healthcare Premiums
As Americans struggle with double-digit hikes in their health insurance bills, millions are coming up against a hard reality: The state regulators who are supposed to protect them can often do little to control what insurers are charging (Los Angeles Times).

Chapter 11 Benefits Battles Get Fierce
Linda Roberts thought she would enjoy lifetime health benefits after a dozen years lifting radiators and iron in a factory for Visteon Corp. But the car-parts maker won bankruptcy-court approval to terminate those retiree benefits, just months after Ms. Roberts, 62 years old, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and leukemia (The Wall Street Journal).

State OK's Tool To Detect Prescription Drug Abuse
With a few computer keystrokes, Massachusetts physicians will soon be able to identify patients who travel from clinic to clinic in pursuit of potent prescription drugs that feed lethal addictions (The Boston Globe).

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