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.

Obama Administration Halts Implementation of Health Law's Long-Term Care Program

The Obama administration will stop implementation of a controversial long-term care program included in last year's health care overhaul after determining they cannot find a way to make it fiscally sound and still meet the law's requirements.

California Insurer Returning Premium Money in a Public Way

Blue Shield of California announced that it would be returning $295 million to its customers this year, fulfilling its pledge to limit net income to 2 percent of revenue. White House officials credited the health care overhaul while at least one veteran analyst called the move a public relations stunt.

Berwick Not Blue About ACOs Despite Beat Down of Proposed Reg

The accountable care organization (ACO) proposal issued earlier this year by Medicare officials was slammed hard from all sides and even labeled "unworkable" by one top hospital industry official.

House Democrats Outline Health Recommendations for Deficit Panel

House Democrats who specialize in health care policy called on the joint deficit reduction committee to preserve Medicare and Medicaid and fix Medicare's flawed physician reimbursement formula, while offering up familiar health care savings proposals.

Exchanges Face Concentrated Markets, Study Finds

The health care law aims to spur competition among insurers to lower premium costs for individuals and small employers by creating state health insurance exchanges, but in many instances, there aren't that many insurers around to compete, a new study suggests.

Deficit Deal More Likely in 2013?

A former Medicare administrator expressed some doubts about whether the committee charged with reaching a deal on deficit reduction can come up with a plan that can pass Congress.