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.

Economic Case for Health Overhaul Rolled Out at White House

The Obama administration issued an economic analysis saying that a "genuine" health care overhaul would slow the growth of health costs and reduce the deficit—while not taking a stand on spending reductions or revenue increases.

When Being Insured Is Not Enough

As the drive for an overhaul gains momentum, consumer advocates have been recounting horror stories of people facing devastating medical costs. Though much of the discussion has centered on the need to cover the nation's 46 million uninsured, the people behind these particular stories are examples of a different problem. They're all insured; their policies just aren't comprehensive enough to protect them from potentially crushing bills.

Senate Finance Awaits CBO Cost Analyses of Health Care Options

The Senate Finance Committee has reached no consensus on major provisions of a health care overhaul, in part because members still lack a clear picture of what different policy choices would cost. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which estimates what legislation will cost the taxpayers, is scrambling to analyze hundreds of policy options the committee is considering.

Obama Open to a MedPAC With Teeth, DeParle Says

White House Office of Reform Director Nancy-Ann DeParle said that President Obama is open to making recommendations of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission mandatory unless opposed by a joint resolution of Congress.

Obama Reiterates Support For Public Health Care Plan

President Obama in a letter to two key Senate chairmen reiterated Wednesday his support for their inclusion of the government run "public plan" option in a health care overhaul.

Massachusetts: A Model, or Cautionary Tale?
Three years into Massachusetts' grand experiment in overhauling its health system, it's hard to argue that the law has failed to meet its objectives. Today, according to estimates, more than 97 percent of the state's residents have health insurance, easily the highest rate in the country. But no one is calling  it a perfect setup. The Massachusetts model, as it is known, nonetheless remains central to the debate in Washington.