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Stories tagged: health care


Health care bills under fire

WASHINGTON – Emboldened by divided Democrats and polls that show rising public anxiety about President Barack Obama’s handling of health care and the economy, Republicans on Monday launched an aggressive …


Analyst lashes health care legislation’s cost

WASHINGTON – Congress’ chief budget analyst delivered a devastating assessment Thursday of the health care proposals drafted by congressional Democrats, fueling an insurrection among fiscal conservatives in the House and …


Vote gives boost to health reform

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama achieved a milestone Wednesday when a Senate committee approved a plan to revamp the U.S. health care system. The Senate panel’s action, which attracted no …


Obama sets health bill deadline for week’s end

WASHINGTON – Moving forcefully on his top domestic priority, President Barack Obama told a powerful Senate chairman on Monday he wants health care legislation ready in the Finance Committee by …


Michael Kinsley: Pick health care’s ‘low fruit’ for reform

To achieve the goals of health care reform – universal coverage and reducing costs – is it really necessary to overhaul our entire health care system? The answer is probably …


Health reform’s progress sluggish

WASHINGTON – Legislation to overhaul the nation’s health systems is unlikely to make it through the House and Senate before the August target set by President Barack Obama and other …


Regence raising its premiums

SEATTLE – Regence BlueShield, Washington state’s largest provider of individual health care insurance, is raising premiums for 135,000 individual plan members in the state by an average of 17 percent …


Discord over health care may jeopardize reform

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration, hoping to boost its health-reform effort with financial concessions from the hospital and pharmaceutical industries, is instead confronting dissension within Democratic ranks and possible defections …


Wash. ombudsman sues over cuts to health program

A judge in Seattle has been asked to halt cuts to a health care program for disabled adults living in Washington state-sponsored homes.


Private insurance at 50-year low, CDC says

ATLANTA – The percentage of Americans with private health insurance has hit its lowest mark in 50 years, according to two new government reports. About 65 percent of non-elderly Americans …


Obama: Compromise needed on health care

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama on Wednesday rejected the idea of fully taxing Americans’ employer-provided health insurance benefits, but suggested he might be persuaded to tax so-called Cadillac coverage, benefits …


Editorial: Hinge pay on outcomes to trim cost of Medicare

It has come to the attention of Congress that comprehensive health care reform will be expensive. Expensive enough – $1 trillion or more – to dash President Barack Obama’s and …


Bad test results often fail to reach patients, study finds

CHICAGO – No news isn’t necessarily good news for patients waiting for the results of medical tests. The first study of its kind finds doctors failed to inform patients of …


Care overhaul hits cost hurdle

WASHINGTON – No one can figure out a politically acceptable way to pay for an overhaul of America’s health care system, and until someone does, the effort is stalled. Maybe …


Bootstrap-pulling mom aspires to transplant list

Life has a way of knocking you when you’re down, but Lori Kramer is determined to stay on her feet. Five years ago, she said, it was her husband throwing …


VA inspections still find flaws

WASHINGTON – Fewer than half of Veterans Affairs centers given a surprise inspection last month had proper training and guidelines in place for common endoscopic procedures such as colonoscopies – …


Seeking cures for health care costs

Until recently, the sagging economy wasn’t a subject Dr. Mary Newman routinely discussed during office visits. But after a steady stream of longtime patients confided that they had been laid …


Obama offers doctors enticements, sacrifices

CHICAGO – President Barack Obama wooed the American Medical Association on Monday with talk of curbing malpractice lawsuits and canceling a proposed 21 percent cut in Medicare payments as he …


Obama issues US doctors stern pitch for health fix

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama told American doctors Monday they must join him in fixing a crumbling health care system, pitching an overhaul to a group deeply suspicious of government …


Ailing program needs a lifeline

Beau Mellem stared in disbelief at the invoice detailing his medical care costs. Line by line the charges of his two heart surgeries and seven-week intensive care unit stay added …


Lawmakers working on health care compromise

WASHINGTON – With Republicans fighting the idea of a government-run health insurance plan, members of President Barack Obama’s team said Sunday that they are open to a compromise: a cooperative …


Smart Bombs: Misdiagnosing the illness

When last we met, I wrote about the “public option,” wherein government would offer health insurance (as it does with Medicare) as an alternative to all of the private plans …


Basic Health budget cuts don’t reflect plan’s intent

When government can’t cover all citizens with a particular benefit or service, it generally invokes a “means test,” whereby a line is drawn based on income. Those below the line …


Co-ops gain ground as health care option

GREEN BAY, Wis. – As President Barack Obama traveled to the heartland to sell a government-run insurance plan as essential to health care reform, Senate negotiators began to explore a …


Baucus outlines possible tax

WASHINGTON – A Senate plan to overhaul the nation’s health system is likely to include a new tax on some employer-provided health benefits that exceed the value of the basic …


State to hike rates on low-income health care plan

OLYMPIA _ State health officials said Monday that they’ve found a way to skirt one of the Legislature’s most heart-rending budget dilemmas: how to yank health coverage from tens of …


Obama warms to health-insurance mandate

WASHINGTON – With lawmakers poised to begin a major push to reshape the nation’s health care system, President Barack Obama on Wednesday signaled new openness to the idea of the …


Cuts to health care to be widely felt

Health care services in Washington are set for a shake-up as the state’s medical safety net shrinks this summer. About 40,000 people who rely on the state’s subsidized Basic Health …


Economy leaving some seniors stuck in their homes

Kenneth Lalonde would like to move into a retirement community. At 72, he has problems with his vision and a “bum knee,” and he uses a cane to get around. …


U.S. to target health-care fraud in bid to reclaim huge losses

WASHINGTON – Senior Obama administration officials on Wednesday launched a high-level task force to use technology to help detect and prevent health-care fraud that robs the nation’s coffers of billions …