A 10-member Massachusetts state healthcare advisory board unanimously recommended that the state begin rationing healthcare to keep the state’s marquee universal health care program afloat financially.
The Congressional Budget Office on July 16 warned that the Democrats’ healthcare reform bills won’t reduce the federal government’s spending on medical care. In fact, a July 16 AP report mentioned CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf’s finding that the reform measures will actually increase federal costs.
You're going to be healthy — whether you like it or not. The Obama administration is pushing for a national healthcare bill this summer and Democrats in the Senate are responding, with a Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee measure that would make healthcare both a right and a responsibility.
President Obama has nominated Dr. Regina Benjamin as his choice for Surgeon General. A White House spokesman, Reid Cherlin, has assured the nation that Dr. Benjamin “supports the president’s position on reproductive health issues,” which in White House parlance equals abortion and contraception via public funding.
A July 13 Washington Business Journal article reported that the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee has finally defined its proposed “pay or play” mandate that would require businesses to provide health insurance to their employees. The committee would force businesses with 25 or more employees to provide health insurance coverage or pay a fine for each worker not covered.
According to a July 10 Washington Post article, the federal government is considering a mass vaccination campaign this fall against the H1N1 flu virus. Obama administration officials announced this during a “flu summit” at the National Institute of Health’s Bethesda, Maryland, campus on July 9. About 500 health officials from around the country were in attendance.
Democrats are struggling to come up with acceptable ways to finance healthcare reform, a July 8 New York Times article reports. Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the majority leader, and other Democrats have expressed opposition to taxing employer-based health benefits and have told Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.), chairman of the Finance Committee, to look for other options.
The protocol at Planned Parenthood clinics for administering RU-486, the drug that causes medical abortions, was officially changed in order to reduce the resulting serious infections and deaths. Planned Parenthood is now trying to claim kudos for making medical abortions safer, for the mother.
The American Hospital Association, the Federation of American Hospitals, and the Catholic Health Association agreed with the Obama administration on July 6 to accept $155 billion less in reimbursement from the federal government over the next 10 years. According to the Washington Post for July 7, a hospital negotiator said, “This is our attempt to act in good faith.”
General Electric is entering into a venture with Geron Corp to commercially develop products from human embryonic stem cells, including developing sample human cells that drug companies can use to test the toxicity of new drugs. The use of embryonic stem cells to develop other types of human cells entails the destruction of human life.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control on July 1 released preliminary data for insurance coverage in America during 2008. According to the data, the percentage of Americans with private health coverage has fallen to its lowest level in 50 years. The percentage of Americans with private insurance in 2008 was 65.4 percent, a drop from 66.8 percent in 2007.