Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wednesday Post-SOTU Edition

Well, the speech is in the can. Let's see what the pundits have to say about health reform this morning:

The President said that he knows there is opposition to health reform, and he's willing to negotiate changes, but he's not willing to go back to a time when insurance companies denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions. He's willing to repeal the 1099 bookkeeping provision -- everybody agrees this needs to go, so why it's not already gone I don't know -- and he's willing to consider things like malpractice reform. “So instead of re-fighting the battles of the last two years, let's fix what needs fixing and move forward.”

Still, the GOP response ties reform to the nation's debt. He says reform is driving up premiums -- something that I believe is factually unsupportable -- and that it threatens the health insurance coverage Americans already have -- although they didn't quite say how or why.

And a new poll says that Americans do not want the health reform law to be defunded -- 62 percent do not want the GOP to hold up funding to implement the changes. Still, Americans are divided on the law, although clear majorities are in favor of some of the law's consumer protections. Most Americans also support Medicare and Medicaid.

Still, Senator McConnell promises that there will be a repeal vote in the Senate.

Although the health reform law does give regulators the tools to review premium increases, if they are to have authority to stop those increases, the States will need to legislate accordingly.

Electronic health records -- long thought to be a key to improving care -- well, it turns out they may not improve care all that much.

Republicans want to let insurers sell policies across state lines. Why is that a problem? Because the State laws that guarantee minimum coverage of certain services would not apply, so people would buy cheaper policies that would cover a lot less.

And that's the health news this morning. Jennifer

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