Harry ReidSenate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced on October 26 that Senate healthcare reform legislation will include a public option that would allow states to opt out if they can provide equivalent coverage.

President Barack Obama granted himself more broad powers late last week when he declared the swine flu outbreak a national emergency, announcing the decision over the weekend to a chorus of ridicule and fiery criticism.

A major healthcare study by Thomson-Reuters has concluded that the United States wastes between $600 billion and $850 billion on healthcare annually, a third of all healthcare costs. Perhaps more importantly, the study essentially concluded that President Obama is looking in the wrong directions for eliminating major sources of waste in his reform efforts.

vaccinationA rule that would have forced half of a million healthcare workers in the state of New York to be vaccinated for seasonal and swine influenzas was suspended on October 22 following a series of protests, lawsuits, a restraining order, and an alleged shortage of supplies.

Public health officials in Florida are silently drawing up guidelines that call for “rationed” medical care, admission denials, and even withdrawing essential care from certain patients in the event of a serious spread of influenza, documents show.