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.

President Signs Physician Pay Bill, But Unhappiness Lingers

President Obama signed a bill into law early Friday that prevents a 21 percent pay cut in Medicare physician reimbursements, bringing a conclusion—for now—to a stalemate over the level of government payments to doctors.

'Bill of Rights' Is Law at Long Last, Dems Crow

The White House announced publication Tuesday of a package of "Patients' Bill of Rights" regulations issued under the health care overhaul law that includes a three-year phase-out of annual limits on medical care payouts by insurers.

Connecticut First to Expand Medicaid Under Health Care Law

Connecticut on Monday became the first state in the nation to expand Medicaid enrollment to low-income adults under the new health care law, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced.

'PCORI' Backers Eye PR Strategy to Cool 'Death Panel' Rhetoric

Insurers, drug companies and health care policy leaders got together today to talk about comparative effectiveness research, which is ramping up under the new health care law. The consensus? The effort to find out what works in medicine is going to require a good public relations strategy as much as a scientific one.

'Loss Ratio' Debate Proves Again That Rulemaking Is as Hard as Lawmaking

Democrats outraged by insurance company profits designed a piece of the new health care law to force insurers to direct most premium money toward benefits. But severe birth pangs are afflicting the process of spelling out this concept in regulations.

Medicare Advantage Market Competitive? Not So Much, Study Concludes

A small number of firms dominate the market for private health plans in Medicare, says an analysis released this week by the Kaiser Family Foundation.