2009 February Health Care News: President-elect Picks Tom Daschle to Head HHS

Published February 1, 2009

The February 2009 issue of Health Care News opens with Managing Editor Jeff Emanuel’s report on President-elect Barack Obama’s choice of former U.S. senator Tom Daschle as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Also in this issue:

* Arizona Proposition 101, which would have enshrined consumer-directed health care into the state’s constitution, failed at the polls by fewer than 9,000 votes—0.4 percentage points.

* Hoping to impose a huge, government-heavy overhaul of the U.S. health care system, incoming Members of Congress and Obama appointees are planning to “act fact and get it passed” before opposition can become well-organized.

* Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is proposing to move some of the state’s Medicaid program to the private sector, where the cost is lower and outcomes better.

* A Pennsylvania board that identifies potential cost cuts and quality improvements in the state’s health care system faces dissolution because of a political dispute.

* Advocacy groups are pressing state governments to require insurance companies to include coverage for autism behavioral therapy.

* Minnesota is shifting 18,000 SCHIP-ineligible adults to Medicaid, with Bush administration approval. Only problem: The shiftees are also ineligible for Medicaid.