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Stories tagged: health care


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 …


Push is on to put medical records online

Those who grew up in the pre-Internet world can remember having little access to their credit reports. Today, consumers easily can check and understand their credit scores online. Similarly, access …


Shriners’ global outreach shrinks

Albanian villagers consider her a miracle worker. She brings their children, those crippled by accidents and birth defects, to the United States, and they return months later healed and wide-eyed …


Deficits may force Shriners to close facility

Parents, former patients and the medical community reeled from Monday’s news that Shriners International may close its children’s hospital in Spokane. The hospital is regarded by many as a city …


Former foes join health care reform call

WASHINGTON – Surrounded by men and women who made their careers killing health care reform in the past, President Barack Obama on Thursday reiterated his pledge to enact comprehensive legislation …


Smart Bombs: Unhealthy debate

I’m skeptical that President Barack Obama can reach his ambitious goals on the budget deficit and health care, because he can’t meet the former without radical changes to the latter. …


Obama pitches health reform

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama is proposing to begin a vast expansion of the U.S. health care system by creating a $634 billion reserve fund over the next decade, launching …


Smart Bombs: First, check your ego

If you are about to undergo surgery, here are two simple tips that could save your life. State your name and ask the physicians if they have been introduced to …


On health care, stimulus skips many in middle class

WASHINGTON – John Peeler, an unemployed computer technician in South Carolina, soon might obtain health insurance for his wife and three children. Four months after being laid off, he is …


Combat costs by becoming more active in the process

It’s easy to feel that health care decisions are out of your control. Doctors order tests and prescribe drugs. Follow-up appointments are scheduled automatically. The default position for health care …


As health costs shift, education is best bet

Whatever you pay for your health care, chances are good that it’s going up. The basic costs of procedures and services have been rising steadily for years. Employers have been …


Save money on health care? Can be done

It’s easy to feel that health care decisions are out of your control. Doctors order tests and prescribe drugs. Follow-up appointments are scheduled automatically. The default position for health-care providers …


Health care decisions take active participation

Whatever you pay for your health care, chances are good that it’s going up. The basic costs of procedures and services have been rising steadily for years. Employers have been …


Snow no obstacle for kidney transplant

SEATTLE – Kidney patient Dorothy Beaver and kidney transplant surgeon Ramasamy Bakthavatsalam were both snowed in when the telephone call came. They were told they had to get to the …


Drug pairings often risky, study warns

CHICAGO – At least 2 million older Americans are taking a combination of drugs or supplements that can be a risky mix – from blood thinners and cholesterol pills to …


Medicare gap has patients, lawmakers calling for reform

WASHINGTON – Master toolmaker John McClain built machine parts with details so small they couldn’t be seen with the naked eye. Then a lump on his neck turned out to …


Delayed vision

Thousands of children enrolled in Washington’s Medicaid program have waited months for new eyeglasses. The backlog can be traced to new security protocols and computer software at the Airway Heights …


Senate hopefuls differ on health care

BOISE – Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden traveled Thursday to Idaho to tout his bipartisan health care reform legislation and campaign for Democratic Senate candidate Larry LaRocco. Wyden and LaRocco presided …


Focus health system on patient, not profit

On Aug. 1, my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. The biopsies of both the lymph node and breast came back positive with “poorly differentiated” cancer. This means the cancer …