Health insurance industry proposes deal on national health reform

The U.S. health industry now says it will support national health care reform.

Meeting November 17, the board of directors of America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) agreed  it would support reforms that change the way insurers do business, including guaranteed issuance to all applicants regardless of pre-existing medical conditions.   

Senate Finance Chairman Baucus issues “call to action” on health care

Max Baucus, the powerful chairman of the U.S. Senate's Finance Committee, says "it is the duty of the next Congress to reform America's health care system."  His "call to action" is contained in Health Reform 2009, a nearly 100-page report released by the Senate Finance Committee on November 12th.

Medicare Part D needlessly expensive and complex

"Congress should revisit the Medicare Part D drug plan next year and recraft it in the public interest rather than insurers' interests," write the editors of the Scranton Times-Tribune in its November 19th edition.

Care of chronically ill lags in U.S.

Chronically ill individuals in the United States are much more likely to experience difficulty in getting the medical care they need than similarly situated individuals in other highly developed countries.

This finding is made by The Commonwealth Fund and is based on a survey of 7,500 chronically ill patients from the U.S., Canada, France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, New Zealnd and Australia.  It is reported by the journal Health Affairs.

Delayed treatment of diabetes a huge burden

Diabetes has cost Robert Heard dearly.  His left leg was amputated below the knee two years ago.  His kidneys are not working and to stay alive, he requires thrice-weekly dialysis.  He lives under the ever-present threat of infection.

Heard was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 10. He managed his illness well until, at age 25, he changed jobs and lost his health insurance.  Unable to get the medicines he needed, Heard lost control of his blood sugar levels.  Since then, he has regularly ended up in the emergency room.  His kidneys have stopped working properly.