Suzy Khimm

Daily Round-up, 1/27

Countering Clyburn's recent remarks, Pelosi says that the House will take a major step toward health reform this year.   Senator Harkin wants $12.4 billion in health care spending to be included in the stimulus.   Medicare is expanding its coverage of cancer drugs not approved by the FDA.   The VA is planning to expand health care enrollment to 265,000 new veterans.   Women with heart trouble are more likely to experience delays in the ER than men.   Another study confirms that vaccines don't harm children.   A drug-resistant malaria strain is spreading in Southeast Asia.

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Daily Round-up, 1/26

Medicaid enrollments are surging. Pfizer will acquire Wyeth for $68 billion, and about 8,000 jobs are expected to be lost. The recession is making people sicker, says one Boston hospital. Health care costs for workers have soared, even though employers are footing more of the bill.   Only one in ten laid-off workers chose to be covered by COBRA, mostly due to high costs. Accidental infant deaths rates are on the rise. Canada is experimenting with medical outsourcing. --Suzy Khimm

Daily Round-up, 1/23

President Obama overturns the global gag rule today. Bush's global AIDS coordinator has been asked to resign. More elderly Americans are skipping prescribed meds because they can't afford them. A hospital in Minnesota is being used for charging patients a "usurious" 18% interest rate. A bill requiring pharmaceutical companies to disclose their gifts to physicians was introduced in the Senate. A terrorism preparedness expert has been appointed to head the CDC. Poor accounting of health care costs is still afflicting the Veterans Affairs Department.

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Anthony Wright is executive director of Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition. He blogs daily at the Health Access WeBlog and, happily, he'll now be contributing to The Treatment, as well. Take his opinions seriously; few people boast similar knowledge of health care both in the abstract and in the real world. -- Jonathan Cohn The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee has put out legislative language for their version of an economic stimulus.

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China is spending $123 billion to provide universal health care by 2011. The Gates Foundation, Germany, and the U.K. are part of a group that's pledged $635 million to eradicate polio. Mental health facilities are on the chopping block in Chicago and Virginia, where officials are struggling to cope with budget cuts.

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Scientific American wonders if Obama is right that technology can lower health care costs, as the president claimed in his inaugural speech. Most small business owners want the government to provide a public health insurance option, according to a new survey. The Wall Street Journal considers whether Daschle should appoint a "Health Fed" to assess the cost-effectiveness of drugs. George Washington University released a study looking at the health consequences of the 2008-2009 recession. Despite the dismal economic climate, the U.S.

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Seven states have filed a lawsuit to block Bush's last-minute "Provider Conscience Rule" from taking effect on Jan.

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Kids can get their first pre-inauguration makeover. A sensitive 24-year-old man is looking for "arm candy." One local woman ("a yoga-style goddess") seeks true love ... and a free ticket to the induction ceremony. "What a wonderful start to a happy relationship if we got to tell our grandchildren we met for Obama's Inauguration!" A "master photographer" needs an artist to render Obama's portrait on the body of a male model. ("This shoot is a private session.") A non-profit in Adams Morgan invites liberals to kick off the festivities by hitting a Republican pi

When Senator Dianne Feinstein heard that Leon Panetta was nominated to be the next CIA director, she wasn't just caught off guard in her capacity as head of the Senate Intelligence Committee. She also found herself confronting an old political colleague--even, at times, a rival--who had suddenly re-emerged on her turf. The two northern California politicians have long overlapped in the context of both state and national politics. In 1995, Feinstein led a fight against the closure of several large military bases in the state, contending that it would have a devastating economic impact.

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With controversy swirling around Obama's selection of Leon Panetta for CIA chief, we approached a few respected intelligence experts for perspective. Those we spoke to were supportive of the choice and the theory that intelligence experience is not an absolute prerequisite for a good director. Paul Pillar, a professor at Georgetown University and former CIA officer, explained why he feels so confident: I think he'll do fine. ... The director is not a line officer; he's not running cases and doing detailed analyses.

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