A big day in the health reform world. First, Kaiser Health News reports that insurers across the nation are raising insurance premiums dramatically -- and generating widespread protests in response. Will that generate new enthusiasm for health reform?
The White House seems to think so. According to CQ (behind a firewall, alas), the Obama administration is planning to release a final version of health reform legislation, potentially as early as February 21st.
CQ says the new legislation will serve as the basis for the bipartisan health care summit President Obama hopes to host on February 25th. It also seems to be the legislative destination that Democrats in the House and the Senate would agree to arrive at if the House were to pass the Senate version of health reform and then amend it during the budget reconciliation process. (Democratic allies in organized labor are reportedly concerned about vague promises to fix problems in reconciliation. Putting an agreed-upon end product out now would presumably allay those concerns.) All told, an intriguing day -- and next week promises to be even better!
Bonus track: Feeling wonky? Then dive into "A Map to Bad Policy" in the New England Journal of Medicine. Health care experts across Washington will be spending the morning assessing Dr. Peter Bach's claim that the influential Dartmouth of Atlas of Health Care Spending is flawed.