Tag Archives: Health Care Reform

In win for Democrats, House passes health care reform bill

The U.S. House of Representatives passed an historic health care reform bill last night. The bill must also be approved by the U.S. Senate, where it is expected to pass, before it can be signed into law by President Barack Obama, BBC News. Political implications of the health care reform bill, Reuters. Factbox on immediate and long terms changes that will be implemented if the bill is passed through reconciliation and signed by President Obama, Reuters.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has refused to address the controversy over the building of new settlements in Jerusalem. Netanyahu will meet with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C. this week, Christian Science Monitor.

After a small eruption over the weekend, Iceland is preparing for larger volcanic eruptions, Times Online.

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Passage of U.S. health care bill imminent

Democrats appear to have pushed through a final version of the health care reform bill. Final vote on the bill is expected tonight. The bill will impose new limits on health insurance companies, including ending the practice of denying coverage based on pre-exisiting conditions. It will also require individuals to buy health insurance or face a penalty. Details of the final bill, Reuters. Passage of the bill was boosted by concessions by President Obama and Democrats that ensure health care reform will exclude federal payments for abortions. Text of the President’s statement, CNN.  Timeline of the past 100 years of American health care reform, New York Times.

Two weeks after elections in Iraq, the votes are still being counted. Iyad Allawi’s secular coalition narrowly leads over current Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s mainly Shi’ite coalition. Maliki has called for a recount but Iraq’s electoral commission ruled that a recount is not necessary. About 95 percent of the votes have been counted, Reuters.

Two Palestinians were shot by Israeli military in the West Bank today. The military says the men had attempted to stab a soldier, Al Jazeera.

Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon has called for Israeli to end its blockade of the West Bank, BBC News.

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Togo pulls out of Africa Cup after attack

After an attack on the team bus in Angola in which 2 people died, Togo is pulling out of the African Cup of Nations football tournament. Civil war ended in Angola in 2002 but violence still plagues the country, CNN.

4 churches have now been attacked in Malaysia in response to Christians using the word “Allah” to refer to the Christian God. The dispute began when a court said that a Catholic newspaper can use “Allah” in its Malay language editions, Reuters.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai submitted a second list of ministers for his cabinet to the Afghanistan parliament this week. Karzai’s first list, which included known warlords, was previously rejected, Reuters.

Barack Obama’s weekly address focuses on health care reform, Transcript. The U.S. Congress will make a final push for health care reform over the next few weeks. The Senate and House of Representative bills will need to be merged into one bill before it’s voted on and, if passed, signed by the President. President Obama has said that both bills largely meet the requirements he set when he first called for health care reform. The differences in the two bills, Washington Post.

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Hamas Deal Would Halt Rocket Attacks on Israel

The Palestinian political group Hamas has reached an agreement that other militant groups will stop firing rockets into Israel for a year. The agreement also suggests that Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier who has been held in Palestine for over 3 years, may be released soon in exchange for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners being held in Israel, Guardian.

23 people are dead after a ferry sank in Indonesia. Over 200 people had to be rescued, BBC News.

The United States is one step closer to health care reform after the U.S. Senate voted last night 60-39 on a procedural motion to move debate further, Voice of America.

Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan had his first hearing for charges in the deaths of 13 people. Hasan, who is paralyzed from the chest down after being shot by a civilian police officer, had the hearing in his hospital room. New evidence has emerged that the Federal Bureau of Investigation that the FBI had intercepted emails from Hasan to people connected with al Qaeda but that information was not passed on to the military, BBC News.

A Canadian woman has lost her long-term disability benefits for depression after an insurance agent for her private supplemental insurance saw a picture of her on Facebook smiling and having a good time on vacation, Associated Press.

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The Health Care Crisis in America

While the public debate has primarily focused on costs and how to keep insurance companies profitable, millions of Americans have been living without health care. A study by the Harvard Medical School found that annually 45,000 deaths in the U.S. are linked to lack of health coverage. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 46.3 million people in the U.S. did not have health coverage in 2008, Reuters.

“We’re losing more Americans every day because of inaction … than drunk driving and homicide combined,” Dr. David Himmelstein, a co-author of the study and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard, said in an interview with Reuters.

A USA Today special report looks at what happens when the uninsured are forced to use the emergency room as a last resort for care, USA Today.

A poll by Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York found that a majority of doctors support the public option which would create a plan administered by the federal government that individuals could buy like private insurance, NPR.

In what was described as the largest free health care clinic in U.S. history, more than 2,000 received free care for health problems at Reliant Center in Houston, Texas last September, KRTK-TV.

The progressive website Daily Kos features an examination of the salaries and total compensation of health insurance industry executives, Daily Kos. Health care costs have been rising faster than the rate of inflation for several decades. The average cost of health care for a family through an employer-sponsored plan in 2008 was $12,680, Hidden Costs of Health Care Report.

The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer offers a comparison of five international health care systems: Japan, the Netherlands, Canada, the United States and Mexico, NewsHour Online. The NewsHour’s health homepage, Global Health Watch.

The radio program This American Life is featuring an hour-long examination of the U.S. health care system and why it is so expensive, #391, More is Less.

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U.S. Set to Accept Direct Talks With Iran

The White House has accepted a proposal by Iran to meet directly for unconditional talks. A senior administration official will meet with representatives from Iran and Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany. One of the primary issues is whether more sanctions will be imposed if Iran continues to carry out its nuclear program. The UN has already placed several rounds of sanctions on Iran, New York Times.

A Coast Guard drill yesterday morning on the Potomac River near the Washington Monument set off an hour-long scare before it was discovered the activity was part of a routine drill. CNN initially reported that 10 shots were fired after hearing gunfire described on a radio frequency the Coast Guard was using as part of the drill. CNN later retracted that statement but coming on the anniversary of September 11th when emotions are already heightened, many people were frightened, New York Times. Timeline of CNN’s coverage, CNN.

In his weekly address, President Obama talks about the millions of Americans without health insurance and how easy it is to lose health insurance in America,  Transcript.

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Link Round-Up: Senator Ted Kennedy

Obituary: Edward Kennedy, BBC News.

President Barack Obama’s statement on the passing of Senator Edward Kennedy at age 77 after a  year-long battle with brain cancer, White House Blog.

An overview of Kennedy’s 46-year career in the U.S. Senate, in which he was instrumental in passing the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, Christian Science Monitor.

The Service Employees International Union has called on Congress to honor Senator Kennedy by passing health care reform, The Atlantic.

In Pictures: Edward Kennedy, BBC News.

Video Library for Senator Kennedy, C-SPAN. Kennedy’s speech at the 1980 Democratic convention in which he conceded he lost his party’s nomination to former Georgia governor Jimmy Carter, C-SPAN. Kennedy’s speech at the 2008 Democratic convention last year, C-SPAN.

Kennedy’s memoir, “True Compass,” is set to be released on September 14, The Atlantic.

Factbox on the tragedies that have haunted the Kennedy family, Reuters.

The Chappaquiddick car crash as it was  reported in newspapers, Times Archive Blog.

Programming Note: CNN will air a documentary, “Teddy: In His Own Words,” at 7 pm EDT on Wednesday, August 25.

An examination of possible replacements for Kennedy’s Senate seat. State law requires a special election to fill an empty Senate seat, but Kennedy had made a personal appeal to amend the law to allow Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to appoint someone to fill the seat until a election is held,  Boston Globe.

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Sonia Sotomayor to be Sworn in as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Today

Judge Sonia Sotomayor will be sworn in as the 111th Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court today. Watch the ceremony on C-SPAN starting at 11am EDT.

An analyst for the British Embassy in Iran is one of the 100 people on trial for involvement in the Tehran protests following the disputed reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, CNN International.

An update on the theory that Thursday’s Denial of Service attacks on Twitter and Facebook were actually directed at a Georgian blogger, an economic professor with the username Cyxymu, New York Times.

President Barack Obama’s Weekly Address calls again for health care reform in the United States and dispels rumors that a government-run health care plan will result in euthanasia of the elderly or rationing of care.

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