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.

Baucus Plan Sparks Objections from Health Industry, Liberals and Unions
An odd marriage of health industry groups, unions, liberal advocates for the public option, and libertarians all found something to dislike in the long-awaited, $774 billion health overhaul proposal announced by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont.
Baucus Unveils $774 Billion Proposal to Overhaul Health Care

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., brought an end to months of negotiations aimed at striking a bipartisan deal on the health care overhaul and issued a $774 billion, 10-year plan similar in its basic structure to the three bills approved in House committees but lacking a feature considered central by his party's liberals—a public option to compete with private plans.

House Democrats Renew Push for Public Option in Overhaul

Democratic supporters of the public option in the health overhaul bill mounted a vigorous defense in the House, summoning a panel of health experts who said it's essential for cutting costs. The friendly witnesses sharply criticized a Senate proposal to instead establish a system of consumer-run co-operatives, as well as any "trigger" mechanism that would delay the public option.

Leading Health Analysts Implore Congress: Don't Walk Away This Time

A group of leading analysts and health policy advisers, many of them veterans of the failed congressional overhaul debates of yore, implored lawmakers at a press briefing not to give up on revamping the system now that the going has gotten tough politically.

Some Democrats Want to Reduce Effects of Tax on Insurers

Liberal Senate Democrats are trying to soften the effect of the largest revenue-raising provision in the Finance Committee's health care bill.

Will Docs Tune in to Comparative Effectiveness Studies?

With Congress poised to spend possibly billions of dollars in coming years on research to help doctors identify the most worthwhile medical treatments for various conditions, how doctors respond to that research is key to the hopes of policy makers that it will "bend the curve" in health spending growth. An analysis released at a meeting of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission made clear that while doctors are receptive to the studies, how they are carried out, written, and distributed will determine how much impact they have.