By James A. White
As the Senate gets ready to begin floor debate on the health-care overhaul, two players with different roles come in for media attention this morning.
All eyes in the health-care arena are on Douglas W. Elmendorf, head of the Congressional Budget Office, who is due to come up with an evaluation of the Senate’s proposed overhaul shortly, according to an article in the New York Times. It puts what’s riding on the CBO’s assessment this way:
A thumbs-up from Mr. Elmendorf could speed the process along, helping Mr. Obama fulfill his hope of signing a bill into law this year. A thumbs-down on any of the critical questions — how much the bill costs, how many people it covers, whether it reins in the runaway growth of health spending — could leave the White House and Democrats scrambling.
Elmendorf’s past calls on cost issues has strained some of his friendships in Washington, including with fellow Democrats.
Health-Care Overhaul: Waiting for Elmendorf, Test for Lincoln – Health Blog – WSJ
News Analysis – NY Times.com
By DUFF WILSON and REED ABELSON
Published: November 8, 2009
For any industry, there has to be at least some good news any time Congress votes to expand the market by tens of millions of customers.
But the business world found plenty to complain about Sunday, as it assessed the House bill that would make sweeping changes in the health care system and extend insurance coverage to millions more Americans.
Insurers do not like the provision to create a new government-run insurance program. Drug makers oppose billions of dollars in rebates they would have to give to the government over 10 years. Makers of artificial hips, heart defibrillators and other medical devices are not particularly happy about the proposed 2.5 percent tax on their products.
And employers large and small oppose rules that, for many of them, would make health care coverage — long a job benefit — become a federally mandated obligation.
News Analysis – Medical Industry Grumbles, but It Stands to Gain From Overhaul – NYTimes.com
By ROBERT PEAR and CARL HULSE
Published: November 2, 2009
WASHINGTON — As the House moved toward climactic votes on legislation to remake the health care system, the Congressional Budget Office said Monday that middle-income families might be required to pay 15 percent to 18 percent of their income on insurance premiums and co-payments under the proposal.
Democrats cited the figures as evidence that the legislation would reduce premiums for many low- and middle-income families who currently lack affordable coverage.
Democrats Say House Bill Would Cut Premiums for Many – NYTimes.com
By Katie Redding 10/30/09 4:51 PM
The House health care bill(pdf) unveiled by Democrats this week would make the world of health insurance a whole lot better for women.
“There’s so many great things in there that will go a long way toward helping women and their families get access to affordable, high quality health care and eliminating all the ways insurance companies treat women as a pre-existing condition,” Women’s Law Center Senior Counsel Lisa Codispoti told the Colorado Independent.
In its current form, the new bill would solve three of the most significant problems that women encounter in markets across the United States, including the individual health market in Colorado.
House health care reform bill good news for women « Colorado Independent