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Daily Health Care News – 2/18/10

NEWS

Sebelius: Current bills will be starting point for health summitCNN

President Obama plans to use the already-passed House and Senate bills as a starting point for next week’s health care summit with Republican leaders, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Tuesday.

Excise tax on high-cost health plans would have nonunion impact, study shows Washington Post

A proposed tax on high-cost health insurance plans, an element of Democratic health-care legislation that has been strongly opposed by organized labor, would actually fall equally on nonunion plans, according to a new analysis.

Rate hikes on health insurance prompt more criticism from Obama administrationWashington Post

The Obama administration plans to step up its criticism Thursday of health insurers’ recent efforts to raise their rates — an attempt to harness public aggravation with the industry and rebuild momentum for broad changes to the nation’s health-care system.

Public Option, Medicare Buy-In Could See Senate Floor FightsHuffington Post

Real health care reform is threatening to emerge from the ashes of the Massachusetts special election that exploded the effort in January. A growing movement in the Senate to urge Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to reinsert the public option into a health care reform package that would move through the chamber under majority-only rules depends on just how many votes backers can muster.

Fellow Dem says Harkin supports health care reconciliation Iowa Independent

Senator apparently told gathering last month he’d use the procedural move to pass public insurance option

List of Senators Grows Asking Reid to Pursue Reconciliation Roll Call

Four more Democratic Senators and one Independent have added their signatures to a letter urging Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to pursue reconciliation as a means to passing comprehensive health care reform.

OPINION

Return of the Bush-McCain "Reform" AgendaThe New Republic

Allowing individuals to purchase health insurance policies sold in other states is a key feature of every Republican health care proposal It’s also a horrible idea, as Jonathan Chait and Ezra Klein have both explained today. You should read both of their critiques. If they don’t convince you, I’d recommend an article Robert Gordon wrote for Slate, back when John McCain embraced the proposal in his presidential campaign. As Gordon put it

Opposition To Health Care Reform Mainly From Those Who Would Never Vote For Democrats Jon Walker

A new PPP poll is making the rounds today. The poll reports that half of Americans (50%) are opposed health care reform, and only 39% state support. What is interesting is the source of much of the opposition.

Health reform illiteracy – when people oppose reform in 2010, they don’t really know what they’re opposingHealth Populi

Highly educated Americans support health reform; those with no college education don’t. 10% of Republicans support President Obama’s proposals for health changes; 77% of Democrats do.

Selling insurance across state lines: A terrible, no good, very bad health-care ideaEzra Klein

The big Republican idea to bring down health-care costs is to "let families and businesses buy health insurance across state lines." Jon Chait has some commentary here, but I want to simplify a little bit.

(compiled for Health Care for America Now)

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Jason Rosenbaum

Jason Rosenbaum

Writer, musician, activist. Currently consulting for Bill Halter for U.S. Senate and a fellow at the New Organizing Institute.