KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

First Edition: January 6, 2010

Today's headlines detail Democrat's intraparty efforts to finalize a health reform bill and the key policy issues at the heart of those negotiations.

Democrats Holding Final Intraparty Talks On Health Care Reform
Democratic leaders in Congress began a final round of health-care talks Tuesday, pledging to overcome their remaining differences, with the aim of sending a bill to President Obama before his State of the Union address in late January or early February (The Washington Post).

Obama Prods Congress To Pass Health Bill Quickly 
President Barack Obama is prodding House and Senate Democrats to get him a final health care bill as soon as possible, encouraging them to bypass the usual negotiations between the two chambers in the interest of speed (The Associated Press).

Democrats Circle The Wagons As Health Talks Restart
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, responding to Republican criticism of closed-door meetings on health-care legislation, said Tuesday that she would strive for transparency as Democrats kicked off their final push for a bill (The Wall Street Journal).

House Democrats To Pursue Health Bill Changes
House Democratic leaders said Tuesday that they would insist on changes to the Senate health care legislation to make coverage more affordable for middle-class Americans and to tighten control over the insurance industry (The New York Times).

Pelosi To Bear Heavy Lifting In Selling Centrist-Influenced Health Plan To The Left
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has begun the difficult task of selling a healthcare bill heavily influenced by Senate centrists to her liberal members (The Hill).

Dem Leaders To Forgo Conference
President Barack Obama and congressional Democratic leaders agreed Tuesday to forgo a formal conference committee for reconciling the Senate and House health care bills, according to three Democratic congressional aides (Politico).

Congress Doing Health Care The Hard Way
Congress is still on holiday break, but President Obama and Congressional leaders are already at work starting the task of merging the huge House and Senate health overhaul bills. How did the bill got to this point, and what it will take to get it to the finish line (NPR)?

Dems Agree That House Will Take Up, Tweak Senate Healthcare Bill
House and Senate leaders have formally agreed to bypass a bicameral conference committee to merge two healthcare bills, and have opted to instead "ping-pong" the Senate bill over to the House and back again, according to House leadership aides (The Hill).

Premiums Are Key Issue For Health Care Negotiators
Congressional Democrats and President Barack Obama began work in earnest Tuesday on difficult issues still standing in the way of their national health care overhaul after months of tortuous debate. Topping the list: How to help Americans pay for insurance premiums (The Associated Press).

Health Bills Would Shift Medicare Money To Mayo And Other 'High-Value' Hospitals
As House and Senate lawmakers start to reconcile their health-care bills with an eye to final passage, a little-noticed provision is already prompting celebration from a small group of influential hospitals that stand to gain millions in Medicare dollars (The Washington Post).

Reprieve Eases Medical Crisis For Illegal Immigrants
After a largely sleepless night, Cruz Constancia got up Tuesday morning wondering whether this would be the day that she finally stopped receiving dialysis without charge (The New York Times).

Nursing Offers Healthy Employment Future
More than 3 million jobs in the health care industry will be created this decade, ranging from highly paid neurosurgeons to home health aids making barely above minimum wage (NPR).

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