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Daily Health Care News – 8/12/09


Long lines as free health care offered in LA areaAssociated Press

Though he’d waited since 3:25 a.m. to see a dentist, a smile graced the face of Arturo Castaneda on Tuesday afternoon as he leaned against his blind man’s cane and waited for someone to pull his bothersome tooth.

Amid protests, Obama assails insurance companiesReuters

President Barack Obama assailed insurance companies on Tuesday as he sought to counter an onslaught of conservative opposition to a U.S. healthcare overhaul at a town hall meeting that drew protests outside.

Survey Finds High Fees Common in Medical CareNew York Times

A patient in Illinois was charged $12,712 for cataract surgery. Medicare pays $675 for the same procedure. In California, a patient was charged $20,120 for a knee operation that Medicare pays $584 for. And a New Jersey patient was charged $72,000 for a spinal fusion procedure that Medicare covers for $1,629.

AARP tells Obama: No health plan endorsement yetAssociated Press

A group usually seen as one of Barack Obama’s allies in the health care debate _ AARP _ says the president went too far Tuesday when he said the seniors lobby had endorsed the legislation pending in Congress.

Senator Goes Face to Face With DissentNew York Times

They got up before dawn in large numbers with angry signs and American flag T-shirts, and many were seething with frustration at issues that went far beyond overhauling health care.

U.S. Chamber Sinks Big Money Into Health Care Ads In Handful Of Key StatesGreg Sargent

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which is perhaps the most powerful and well-funded foe of much of President Obama’s governing agenda, just announced that it’s running a “multi-million-dollar” national ad campaign attacking the Dems’ health care reform proposals as “expanded government control of health care”.

Swastika Painted Outside Office Of Black CongressmanNewsOne

A swastika was found Tuesday painted on a sign outside Rep. David Scott’s district office, an act the Georgia Democrat said reflects an increasingly hateful and racist debate over health care and should serve as a reminder for people to tone down their rhetoric.


Like Your Health Insurance? Maybe You Shouldn’t. Washington Post

If we fail to reform our health care system this year, a major reason will be that a majority of Americans are satisfied with their health coverage and believe that reform could hurt them. According to a recent (unscientific) Consumer Reports survey, 64 percent of readers are satisfied with their plans — down from 67 percent in 2007, but still a clear majority. A recent New York Times poll found that 59 percent of Americans do not think that health-care reform will benefit them personally; 69 percent are concerned that reform could harm the quality of their own care and 68 percent are concerned that it could limit their access to treatment.

Bush Holdovers At Civil Rights Commission Attack Health Reform Think Progress

In a self-congratulatory “EXCLUSIVE,” the Washington Times reports that a letter from the United States Commission on Civil Rights “says some little-noticed provisions in the House health care bill are racially discriminatory, and it intends to ask President Obama and Congress to rewrite sections that factor in race when awarding billions in contracts, scholarships and grants,” but this “exclusive” buries the lede. In truth, the only real news in the Washington Times story is hidden in just one paragraph.

Rep. Shadegg Agrees: Town Hall Disruptions Are "Un-American" Media Matters

According to Rep. John Shadegg, "it would be, in fact, un-American to disrupt a town hall."

It Is Democracy, Not Health-Care Reform, That Is SickEzra Klein

As Josh Marshall says, we’ve reached a point in the health-care reform discussion where logic has fallen apart. Consider, for instance, Danielle Allen’s op-ed this morning. Discussing the insistence of some that health-care reform will result in rationing and death panels, Allen chides those who respond with an accurate description of the legislation. "One can’t answer them by saying: ‘These policies won’t ration; there will be no death panels,’" she writes. Instead, reformers must detail the "institutional checks that will prevent the emergence" of death panels and rationing.

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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.