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.

At Health Overhaul Hearing, the Talk Turns to Medicare

The Senate Finance Committee launched the first of a series of at least eight hearings this year on overhauling the entire U.S. health care system, but former Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson testified that the panel should first focus more narrowly on revamping Medicare.

CMS Issues Guidance on Aug. 17 SCHIP Directive

New guidance from the Bush Administration concerning an Aug. 17 directive on coverage under the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) has done little to calm critics' charges that the directive will hurt states' ability to expand health care coverage to uninsured children.

ER Crowding a Significant Problem, But Experts Divided on Solution

Experts agree that overcrowded emergency rooms are part of a mounting health care crisis in the United States, yet differ in their beliefs of what is causing the crisis and how to solve it.

Making the Case for 'E-Prescribing'

The benefits of electronic prescribing, which include reducing costs and medication errors, should outweigh concerns about privacy or other hurdles that health care providers face in adopting "e-prescribing," experts said.

Senate GOP Wants Health Care Provisions Dropped from Supplemental

Senate Republicans are pushing to remove Medicare and Medicaid provisions from a supplemental war spending bill, but so far they have been rebuffed by Democrats.

Study: Health Care Costs Threaten American Businesses in Global Economy

The ever-rising costs of health care puts American businesses at a disadvantage when trying to compete with firms overseas, according to a new study by the New America Foundation.