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July 23, 2009
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Texas Medical Association Balks at Obama Health Care Plan, Despite AMA Endorsement
from The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, July 20, 2009
The Texas Medical Association - the nation's largest state medical society - is among more than a dozen state associations breaking ranks with the American Medical Association’s endorsement of the healthcare overhaul proposal in the U.S. House. TMA President Dr. William Fleming said the association's actions do not constitute a split with the national association but rather a decision by Texas physicians to make up their own minds about whether to endorse the legislation being debated in Congress. More

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Doctors Lift Health Care
from The Hill, July 16, 2009
The American Medical Association (AMA), which helped torpedo the Clinton administration's effort to revamp the nation's healthcare system 15 years ago, endorsed the House Democrats' health bill on Thursday. President Obama touted the physician group’s move, saying "these doctors are joining the chorus of Americans who know that the time to reform what is broken about the healthcare system is now." More

Editorial: What's Up, Docs?
from The Wall Street Journal Opinion Journal, July 21, 2009
Everyone supports "health reform" as an abstract goal, but that mile-wide consensus is an inch deep when it comes to substance. Increasingly, however, most of the major health industry lobbies seem prepared to concede the mile -- as long they get their inch. The latest example is the American Medical Association's unqualified endorsement Thursday of the health bill patched together by House Democrats. In a letter to Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel, the doctors group lays on its "appreciation and support" pretty thick, and pledges to "work with the House committees and leadership to build support." The so-called tri-committee plan is also the most left-leaning out there, funding its new coverage for the uninsured in part by cutting payments to doctors and hospitals in Medicare and Medicaid. More

Doctors' Payments Snag Health Bill
from The Wall Street Journal, July 20, 2009
A plan to end a program that would cut government payments to doctors is emerging as the flash point in the debate over whether President Barack Obama's effort to overhaul the health system would increase the federal budget deficit. More

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Health Bill a Boon to Doctors
from The Associated Press via CBS News, July 21, 2009
House Democrats want to give doctors a $245 billion sweetener that helps ensure their critical support for a health care overhaul bill. Next up: Trying to explain how they could do it without breaking President Barack Obama's promise that health legislation won't increase the federal deficit. Obama reiterated the pledge in a "CBS Evening News" interview Tuesday, saying: "It's got to be deficit neutral. It can't add to our deficits." So what of the Congressional Budget Office's conclusion that the House bill does add to the deficit? More

Primary Care Update: House Health Bill on Medical Homes
from The Wall Street Journal Health Blog, July 16, 2009
Tucked into the depths of the 1,018 pages of the House health care bill is $125 million to fund a program that looks at the medical home. In a medical home, a primary care provider (such as a family doctor, internist, pediatrician or nurse practitioner) gets paid to serve as the main point of contact for a patient and coordinate care among specialists and other community resources. That kind of thing often doesn’t get paid for in the current reimbursement system. More

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Opinion: Medical Liability Insurance Reform Must Be Part of Health Care Debate
from The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, July 18, 2009
Cost estimates are difficult to ascertain, but consider just the cost of liability insurance in a five year span. Liability rates more than doubled from $25,000 in 1997 to $53,000 in 2002. Then, in 2003, Texas undertook major medical liability reform by capping noneconomic damages. Subsequently, liability insurance rates for an obstetrician/gynecologist in Dallas-Fort Worth fell to $37,000 in 2008. Clearly, this reform made a significant difference upon liability rates in Texas, but more importantly, it allowed physicians to return to the state or their practice. More

Bacus, Grassley Slam Physician Owned Hospitals
from The Wall Street Journal Health Blog, July 17, 2009
As the nation awaits the unveiling of the Senate Finance Committee health-reform bill, advocates of physician-owned hospitals might be nervous about the latest comments on the hospitals from Sen. Max Baucus, the committee chairman, and Sen. Chuck Grassley, the ranking Republican. More

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Editorial: Getting Health Care Right is Most Important
from The Dallas Morning News, July 21, 2009
After receiving bad news last week about House Democrats' health plan – and facing growing concern from his own party's moderates – President Barack Obama will take to the airwaves to talk about health care reform. We applaud his primetime news conference because the public needs a better grasp of Washington's plans to overhaul the health care system. More

Editorial: Obama and 'Big Mo'
from The Houston Chronicle, July 21, 2009
President George H.W. Bush called it "Big Mo" - referring to the kind of momentum needed to carry the day in big-time politics. In 1980, candidate Bush thought he had it as he headed into New Hampshire following a narrow win in the Iowa caucuses. Ronald Reagan proved him wrong and won the prize. President Barack Obama will need a bracing dose of Big Mo if he is to make good on his pledge to reform health care by the end of the year. More

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Medicare Took One Year; Overhaul to Take Nearly 10
from The Associated Press via The Houston Chronicle, July 20, 2009
President Lyndon Johnson signed the Medicare law on July 30, 1965, and 11 months later seniors were receiving coverage. But if President Barack Obama gets to sign a health care overhaul this fall, the uninsured won't be covered until 2013 - after the next presidential election. More

American Medical Association Report Card Ranks Insurers' Efficiency
from The Dallas Morning News, July 21, 2009
Doctors frustrated with medical claim denials issued a report card Tuesday of the nation's largest insurers. This is the second year of the American Medical Association's National Health Insurer Report Card, which measures the nation's eight largest health insurers on claim denials, timeliness, accuracy and transparency. More

Health Care Overhaul Would Insure 2.9 Million Texans by 2013, Group Says
from The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, July 21, 2009
An estimated 2.9 million Texans would gain health insurance coverage by 2013 under a plan proposed by House Democrats, according to Families USA, an advocacy group backing Democratic efforts to overhaul healthcare. More

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