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.

House Passes Bill to Avert Medicare Premium Increase

The House passed a bill that would prevent Medicare premiums from rising sharply for some senior citizens. The legislation would prevent about 11 million Medicare Part B recipients from having to shoulder more than their share of an annual premium increase because of complexities in federal law and the likelihood that Social Security recipients won't get a bump in their benefits next year to cover the cost of the premium increase.

It's Hurry Up and Wait at the Finance Committee Markup
Senate Finance Committee Democrats were successful in defeating a health overhaul amendment their chairman said would have created "an unworkable set of delays in the markup process."
Lawmakers Look to Address Affordability of Mandated Health Coverage

A central issue in the health care overhaul debate has been how much the legislation will cost taxpayers. But as Senate Finance Committee members head into their markup, Democrats on the panel are becoming increasingly vocal about how much the bill will cost people required to buy insurance.

Liberals Challenge Baucus Proposals as Finance's Health Care Markup Continues
Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus will face a number of challenges from left-leaning Democrats when his health care overhaul comes to the floor, but many of those battles are already being fought in committee as his panel marks up the proposal.
'Public Option' Talks Nearing Finish
House Democratic leaders hope to produce a consensus version of their health care overhaul legislation. However, rank-and-file Democrats remain divided on the bill's central, controversial proposal: to create a government-run insurance plan, popularly known as the public option, to compete with private insurers. 
 
Who Will Get Whacked Hardest to Pay for Health Overhaul?

The big insurer Humana has fired the opening volley in the great battle of the health overhaul pay-fors at the Senate Finance Committee, but the health industry may have a tough time avoiding the combination of cuts and fees that Committee Chairman Max Baucus has laid out to pay for his overhaul measure covering some 94 percent of the American people.