First Edition: June 24, 2010

Today's headlines reflect the latest news about action in the Senate regarding the Medicare "doc fix" and Medicaid assistance for states as well as developments across the health care marketkplace.

KHN Column: About Those Presidential Promises
In his latest Kaiser Health News column, James Capretta writes: "Over the past three years, President Barack Obama made many promises to the American people about his health care plan. Among other things, he said it would reduce the federal budget deficit in coming years, promote better quality care and improve access to physicians" (Kaiser Health News).

Federal Healthcare Overhaul To Keep More Young Adults On Parents' Policies
One of the first provisions of the federal healthcare overhaul — allowing young adults to stay on their parents' health insurance until they turn 26 — is expected to make a big dent in the number of uninsured young people this year. The change will make it easier and cheaper for thousands of 20-somethings to obtain insurance, even in states where other options have existed for several years (Los Angeles Times).

GOP Senators May Still Block More Jobless Benefits
The measure includes many items popular with lawmakers in both parties, including several items considered as must-do, including the further extension of unemployment insurance for people who have been out of work for more than six months, reversing a 21 percent fee cut imposed last week on doctors participating in Medicare and renewing dozens of tax cuts. … A new version of the Senate measure began circulating Wednesday afternoon that pares back a $24 billion state aid package down to $16 billion and cuts $1.8 billion in previously appropriated money from stimulus and defense accounts, among other changes (The Associated Press). 

Judge Clears Health Deal
A judge approved a $712 million health settlement for thousands of emergency workers who responded after the Sept. 11 attack, in spite of objections from some who complained that the deal was unfair (The Wall Street Journal).

Rookie Docs May Get More Oversight, Shorter Shifts
Patients will be told when they're being treated by rookie doctors, who would get shorter shifts and better supervision under proposed work changes for medical residents. … The proposal comes from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Dr. Thomas Nasca, the group's CEO, said the changes are needed to meet the main goals of graduate medical education — assuring patient safety while teaching new doctors professionalism and putting patients' needs above their own (The Associated Press).

Name Of Game In Health Care: Cheaper, Better, Faster
Now that health-care reform legislation has been signed into existence in the U.S., venture investors say they are focused even more intently than before on companies with products that aim to lower the cost of health-care (The Wall Street Journal).

Connecticut Launches Probe Of CVS Caremark
Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal announced an investigation of what his office called CVS Caremark Corp.'s "threat to terminate" a discount prescription program for customers in the state (The Wall Street Journal).

Officials Ask For Hospital Probe
State health officials have asked the attorney general's office to investigate the actions of trustees at two hospitals and a nonprofit health network linked to an influence-peddling scandal that sent a former Queens assemblyman to prison (The Wall Street Journal).

Too Fat To Fight: Obesity Costs The Military A Bundle
In the classic comedy Stripes, overweight "Ox" Oxenberger, portrayed by John Candy, tells fellow recruits that he joined the Army to lose a few pounds. "I'm gonna walk out of here a lean, mean fighting machine," he declares. And now for a dose of reality, circa 2010. Today, Ox would rank among the 9 million young adults — 27 percent of all Americans ages 17 to 24 — who are too overweight to even join the military in the first place (The Fiscal Times).

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