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    HHS Report Enumerates Benefits Of Healthcare Reform

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (11/24, Keefe) reports that the "health reform bill the Senate will take up next week would extend coverage to 1.7 million Georgians -- either through expansions in Medicaid or by allowing them to enroll in public insurance exchanges -- who do not currently have health insurance, according to a report released Monday by" HHS. But "Georgia's Republican lawmaker...counter Democrats' claims of big savings, saying both the bill already passed by the US House and the bill pending in the Senate would cost the state -- and all its residents -- dearly." Sebelius said that she "understands the concerns," but that "they aren't mentioning the potential savings to the states."

    Source: NAHU Newswire

    http://mailview.custombriefings.com/mailview.aspx?m=2009112401nahu&r=3942519-4616

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    Senate Votes To Open Healthcare Debate With Minimum 60 Votes

    The AP (11/22, Espo) reported that Senate Democrats, "invoking the memory" of Sen. Edward Kennedy, "united Saturday night to push historic healthcare legislation past a key Senate hurdle over the opposition of Republicans eager to inflict a punishing defeat" on President Obama. There was "not a vote to spare" as the Senate voted 60-39 to formally start debate on the measure. Sen. George Voinovich (OH), a Republican who opposes the bill, was not present. The AP says the vote "cleared the way for a bruising, full-scale debate beginning after Thanksgiving on the legislation."

    Source: NAHU Newswire

    http://mailview.custombriefings.com/mailview.aspx?m=2009112301nahu&r=3942519-f88d

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    Medicare Tax On High Earners And Other Levies Stir Debate

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) made a late change to his bill by adding an extra Medicare payroll tax, which would generate $54 billion over 10 years according to the Congressional Budget Office.

    Under the plan, wages over $200,000 for single people and $250,000 for married couples would be subject to a 1.95% payroll tax, up from the current 1.45%.

    Source: WSJ

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125868229026056763.html

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    CBO Says Senate Healthcare Bill Costs $849 Billion, Would Cut Deficit By $127 Billion

    Media reports on the Senate healthcare reform bill -- which included reports on two network newscasts -- generally cast the measure in a positive light. ABC World News (11/18, story 2, 00:30, Gibson) reported, "On Capitol Hill, after weeks of delay, Senate Democrats" released "a cost estimate on their healthcare reform bill. The total cost is pegged at $849 billion over ten years, and they claim it would still cut the deficit by $127 billion over that period. It would provide coverage to 94% of Americans including 31 million people who do not now have coverage."

    Source: NAHU Newswire

    http://mailview.custombriefings.com/mailview.aspx?m=2009111901nahu&r=3942519-5f19

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    European Approach To Healthcare Called "Sound Policy

    Bloomberg News (11/17) columnist Celestine Bohlen writes, "According to scare talk from right-wing radio hosts, and even the op-ed pages of some of America's most respected newspapers, capitalist America is now speeding hell-bent down the road to socialized medicine -- following in Europe's tragic footsteps." But here is "what's odd about this nightmare scenario. Few Europeans consider themselves doomed by their comprehensive healthcare plans," and "there is no evidence that their system does damage to people's health." She concludes, "There's nothing particularly socialist about the European approach to healthcare. Rather, providing more coverage for less money, with no adverse consequences for the health of the population, is just sound policy. Ideology has nothing to do with it."

    Source: NAHU Newswire

    http://mailview.custombriefings.com/mailview.aspx?m=2009111701nahu&r=3942519-b066

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    Fiscal 2009 Financial Report Finds Medicare Paid $47 Billion In Questionable Claims

    The AP (11/16, Yen) reports, "The government paid more than $47 billion in questionable Medicare claims including medical treatment showing little relation to a patient's condition, wasting taxpayer dollars at a rate nearly three times the previous year," according to a "fiscal 2009 financial report." According to the AP, President Obama "is expected to announce new initiatives this coming week to help crack down on Medicare fraud, including a government-wide website aimed at providing a fuller account of healthcare spending and improper payments made by various agencies."

     

    Source: NAHU Newswire

    http://mailview.custombriefings.com/mailview.aspx?m=2009111601nahu&r=3942519-79cc

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    Senate Democrats Indicate Health Reform Could Be Pushed To 2010

    The AP (11/4, Espo) reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) "signaled Tuesday that Congress may fail to meet a year-end deadline for passing healthcare legislation, leaving the measure's fate to the uncertainties of the 2010 election season." The statement was "a blow to the White House," according to the AP. In a "weekly closed-door meeting of rank-and-file Democrats," Sen. Reid said, "We're not going to be bound by any timelines. We need to do the best job we can for the American people." Still, "Reid's office revised his remarks" later, saying that Congress could "still send a bill to the president by Christmas."

     

    Source: NAHU Newswire

    http://mailview.custombriefings.com/mailview.aspx?m=2009110401nahu&r=3942519-8756

     

     

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    House's 1,990-Page, $2.2 Million-A-Word Bill Is Long On Tricks, Short On Treats

    Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) released a revised version of health care reform legislation on Thursday. The 1,990-page measure, now known as H.R. 3962, includes a government-run public plan option to be offered through a national health insurance exchange that would negotiate rates with providers. However, the plan would initially be financed with public money and would not have to pay taxes and maintain solvency standards like private insurers. The Congressional Budget Office has provided a preliminary estimate that the bill will cost $894 billion over a 10-year period. The Joint Committee on Taxation has also prepared a fiscal analysis

    Source: NAHU Government Affairs

    http://www.magnetmail.net/actions/email_web_version.cfm?recipient_id=175242935&message_id=855332&user_id=NAHU_2

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