KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

First Edition: January 13, 2011

Today's headlines feature reports about how House GOP leaders -- in the aftermath of last weekend's Tucson, Ariz., tradgedy -- are wrestling with how best to retool their health repeal effort and bring the measure forward for a vote.

Kaiser Health News: FAQ On ACOs: Accountable Care Organizations, Explained
Kaiser Health News staff writer Jenny Gold reports: "Accountable care organizations take up only seven pages of the massive new health law yet have become one of the most talked about provisions. This latest model for delivering services offers doctors and hospitals financial incentives to provide good quality care to Medicare beneficiaries while keeping down costs. A cottage industry of consultants has sprung up to help even ordinary hospitals become the first ACOs on the block" (Gold, 1/13).

Los Angeles Times: GOP In A Bind Over Healthcare Repeal Vote
As lawmakers promise a new era of comity after the Arizona shooting attack that left six dead and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) in critical condition, Republican leaders grappled with how and when to return to an issue that brought political discourse to a boiling point (Hennessey, 1/12).

The Washington Post: House Republicans Heading To Baltimore For Retreat
Led by House Speaker John A. Boehner (Ohio), Republicans plan to hear from a host of experts on federal spending and long-term deficits, as well as discuss strategy for trying to repeal the Obama administration's health-care overhaul (Kane, 1/12).

The Washington Post: The Fact Checker: The Battle Over The Health Care Bill
The new leader of the House of Representatives, speaking to reporters at his maiden news conference last week, resorted to a lot of inside-the-Beltway language that might have left even devoted watchers of C-SPAN scratching their heads. But he's talking about a critical question--whether the health care overhaul passed last year will actually reduce the deficit or not. Republicans contend that it does not, and that is one of the main reasons they cite for wanting to repeal it. But the problem, for the GOP, is that the CBO is the official scorekeeper for Congress. By the CBO's math, the bill does reduce the deficit--and that repealing the bill would increase the deficit (Kessler, 1/13).

Politico: Investors See Health Reform's Potential
As Republicans push forward on repealing health reform, planning the law's demise, a different conversation is happening among thousands of health care investors gathered in San Francisco for this week's J.P Morgan Health Care Conference: how to capitalize on health reform's new business opportunities (Kliff, 1/13).

The Wall Street Journal: Health-Law Repeal Hardly A Panacea For CEO's Concerns
Newly emboldened Republicans want to repeal the Obama health law, a symbol of all that they-and many voters-dislike about President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats' approach to governing. If you were a business executive and employer, would you really favor repeal? (Wessel, 1/13).

The New York Times: As New York City Defends Medicaid Approvals, Fear Of Suit's Fallout Grows
Medicaid fraud conjures up images of shady doctors, pharmacists and businessmen being led away in handcuffs by federal agents as photographers snap away and television cameras roll (Hartocollis, 1/12).

The Wall Street Journal: Biotech Firms Fight Generics
Brand-name drug companies are fighting to weaken a provision of the health overhaul that was designed to open up generic competition in biotechnology medicines and save billions of dollars (Mundy, 1/13).

The New York Times: Oregon Sues J & J In Motrin Buyback
An effort by Johnson & Johnson to buy back defective Motrin pills from store shelves - described as a "phantom recall" by some members of Congress - has come under fire in a lawsuit filed by the state of Oregon against the company (Singer and Abelson, 1/12).

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