In the News
It's an historic day as the Senate begins debating health care reform and www.NewAmerica.net gets a facelift (before we start taxing botox...).
Since the keeper of New America's internets requested we try not to break anything while we migrate to a new website, it will be a light blogging day. Fear not however, as you'll be able to follow the Senate floor debate with us on Twitter starting at 3 p.m. (hashtag: #Senate) and be sure to check back Tuesday for a wrap up of the action and some excellent posts on quality improvements and cost control that made us thankful over the holiday break.
In the meantime check out this excellent piece from Kaiser Health News on the some of the lesser known provisions of the Senate bill and this report from MIT's Jonathan Gruber showing "the House bill will deliver savings ranging from $200 for singles to $500 for families in today's dollars -- even without subsidies."
Growing up, we used to tell the days of the week by what was on TV that night. Thursday's were The Simpsons. We remember this because of Louise Norris's perfectly illustrated, Simpsons-themed edition of Health Wonk Review over at Colorado Health Insurance Insider.This weeks a edition features a guest post on our blog from Dr. Ira Byock putting a personal face on advance directives and dicussions of end of life care.
Will be tweeting an event from US Budget Watch, a joint project between the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget and The Pew Charitable Trusts, asking whether health reform fix our fiscal problems (Tag: #budget). Len Nichols, the director of New America's Health Polciy Program will be participating in the discussion along with a panel of experts on health care and fiscal policy. Things are about to get going, but in the meantime you can check out the two most recent papers from U.S. Budget Watch: Evaluating Health Care Plans and Comparing Health Care Plans.
Tinker Ready hosts an excellent Halloween edition of Health Wonk Review over at Boston Health News. This week's edition features our colleague Joanne Kenen's discussion of oreos, carrot cake, and the biggest public health challenge of our time with Dr. David Kessler. Check it out!
As health reform draws closer to the goal line, efforts to influence the debate have never been fiercer. Lobbying from health care groups is proceeding at a record pace, and everyday seems bring a new crop of ads. In fact, the most recent Kaiser Health tracking poll showed that over half of all Americans (54 percent) had seen, heard, or read an ad in the past week having to do with health reform -- up more than 30 points from June. Of those who’d seen an ad in the past week, 35 percent saw ads in favor of passing reform, 29 percent saw ads opposed, and 29 saw both.
While it’s hard to keep track of the ad wars, two recent productions caught our attention.
The first comes from Americans for Stable Quality Care, a diverse coalition of health care industries and providers, “who share the common belief that all Americans deserve access to stable quality health care.” The ad is titled "House."
Brady Augustine, hosts the latest Health Wonk Review over at medicaidfirstaid. This week's edition features our colleague Joanne Kenen's excellent two-part post on how the Southcentral Foundation gets primary care right for Alaska natives and what that means for health reform. Check it out!
That's the way you need it. Any way you want it. New Health Dialogue's Twitter's got what it takes to follow that long Journey that is the Senate Finance Committee mark up of the America's Healthy Future Act. You can follow our coverage of the event live with this tag: #SFC. So hold tight, hold tight, ooh, baby, hold tight, and don't stop believing, mark ups get underway Thursday at 10:30 am.
In the meantime, for your viewing pleasure, we took the liberty of compiling a few word clouds from the (available) Democratic and Republican opening statements last Tuesday.
Word clouds courtesy of : http://www.wordle.net/
We spent the morning at the Newseum for an excellent briefing on the press and the politics of health care reform. It was hosted by Harvard's Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy. More on that later, but while waiting for the event to begin, we took a quick survey of the morning's front pages from across the nation to get a sense of how yesterday's action in the Senate Finance Committee played in the rest of the country.
The defeat of the public option amendments made front page news in 21 of the 50 state papers on display. Six more covered the topic with teasers or blurbs inside the paper. Most ran with the Associated Press but coverage by Shailagh Murray and Lori Montgomery for The Washington Post also got picked up by several state papers.
More interesting were the headlines and images framing the issue and often, the same story. They ranged from The New York Times' straightforward "Senators Reject Pair of Public Option Proposals" to USA Today's more colorful "Senate panel votes place 'public option' on respirator."
Maysville, Kentucky's The Ledger Independent, went big, with a looming banner of Senator Rockefeller holding his amendment across the top of today's edition. The accompanying article featured a bottle of "U.S. Gov. Grade" snake oil. "Reconciliation" is emblazoned on the side, apparently a "cure-all for health care reform," as well as, to our surprise, a "hair growing tonic." Helena, Montana's Independent Record features a more understated headshot of Chairman Max Baucus with its story, while the Portland Press Herald goes with a tasteful photo of Senator Olympia Snowe.
We'll continue our tweeting of the Senate Finance Committee mark up of the America's Healthy Future Act. You can follow our coverage of the event live on Twitter (tag: #SFC). Today the Committee is expected to take up amendments relating to the public health insurance option.