Two Democratic and two Republican senators have introduced legislation to nullify new restrictions imposed by federal officials August 17 on the ability of states to enroll children in the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). The rules would essentially prevent state SCHIP programs from enrolling uninsured children from families with household incomes above 250 percent of the federal poverty level, the senators said in a joint statement.
Congressional Democrats were nearing a tentative deal on children's health insurance that might allow them to send legislation to President Bush before the end of the month. Lawmakers left town Sept. 12 in a stalemate over a renewal and expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program. But in an apparent breakthrough, House Democratic leaders made major concessions that could lead to a deal on the bill, according to an executive for a leading children's advocacy group.
Research on "what works" in medicine is one of the few bright spots in the otherwise bleak array of choices for controlling health costs, according to Congressional Budget Office Director Peter R. Orszag. But legislative provisions in the children's health insurance bill that would promote that research would actually cost the federal government more money than it saved in the decade after its enactment, according to a CBO scoring document.
Blacks are more likely than whites to live in poor-quality nursing homes across the United States, according to a new report in the journal Health Affairs.
Health insurance premiums for employer-sponsored coverage rose an average of 6.1 percent this year, the smallest rate of increase since 1999 but still higher than increases in inflation or workers' wages, according to a survey released by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust.
If the next decade brings intensive congressional debate on an overhaul of the U.S. health system, what role will business play? The buzz now is that, unlike in the early 1990s, U.S. businesses at a competitive disadvantage in the global economy because of rising health costs will lead the charge for change—not drag their heels the way they did during President Clinton's failed attempt to institute universal coverage. But in the end, will business yank its support despite the current buzz?