Washington Health Policy Week in Review

Washington Health Policy Week in Review is a weekly newsletter that offers selected stories from the daily newsletter CQ HealthBeat.

Benefit 'Rescissions' Prompt Wider Waxman Probe of Insurers

The industry practice of retroactively canceling approved health insurance policies obtained in the individual market after their holders get sick and file large medical claims came under sharp scrutiny at a House committee hearing.

Congress Overrides Bush Veto of Medicare Bill

The House and Senate voted to override President Bush's veto of a bill blocking a big cut in Medicare payments to physicians. The bill now becomes law.

Employer-Based Health Coverage and Wellness Programs Critical to Keeping Workers Healthy, Panel Says

The employer-based health system is crucial to facilitate healthy living among employees and to control spiraling health care costs, said panelists at a Blue Cross Blue Shield Association briefing.

Panelists Call for Revamping of Long-Term Care System

Overhauling long-term care policies is a key component of addressing challenges that face the health care system as baby boomers age, said speakers at a recent Brookings Institution event on how to improve the quality and sustainability of long-term care programs.

U.S. Again Scores Low in Quality, Efficiency, Access of Health Care System

The U.S. health care system has not improved and has even declined in some areas in recent years, but "wide opportunities to improve care" and save billions of dollars still stand well within the reach of stakeholders, according to the authors of a new report by the Commonwealth Fund.

Wanted: A Few Good States (and the Feds) to Overhaul Health

House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee Chairman Pete Stark sent a mixed message at a hearing on the role of states in overhauling health care--on the one hand, states face too many roadblocks to bring about universal coverage and no single state offers the nation a model of how to get it done. On the other hand, the California Democrat noted, states making a serious effort to reach the goal have lessons to offer federal policy makers on the role they can play in bringing about universal coverage.