First Edition: January 5, 2011

In today’s headlines, reports about how Republicans and Democrats are preparing for the new power dynamic in the House.

Kaiser Health News: Health On The Hill
KHN staff writer Mary Agnes Carey talks with KFF’s Jackie Judd about a range of issues, including the upcoming Jan. 12 House vote to repeal the health care law. Watch the video (1/4).

KHN Column: The Avastin Decision: A Rational Decision Or Rationing?
In his latest Kaiser Health News column, done in collaboration with The New Republic, Jonathan Cohn writes: “Often, though, the noisiest voices in the health care reform debate don’t do those things. … Now it’s happening again in the wake of a controversial regulatory ruling about a cancer drug” (1/4).

The Washington Post: In House, New Republican Majority Plans To Act Fast To Undo Obama’s Agenda
The first move will come Friday, when the House begins the process of repealing the new health-care law. House leaders will then quickly begin to identify tens of billions of dollars in proposed spending cuts and to ease regulations that businesses find burdensome (Kane, 1/5).

Los Angeles Times: House Democrats Poised To Fight As Minority
As President Obama returned to Washington on Tuesday urging Republicans to continue the cooperative spirit that marked the end of the last Congress, Democrats on Capitol Hill went on the attack, vowing to battle to preserve their legislative accomplishments despite a newly diminished position. Outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D- San Francisco) denounced the Republican-led effort to repeal last year’s healthcare overhaul, saying such a move would “do very serious violence to the national debt and deficit” (Mascaro and West, 1/4).

The Wall Street Journal: Health Care Again Tops The Agenda, This Time Of GOP
The new Congress prepared to begin business Wednesday much where lawmakers left off before the November election—battling over the merits of the Democrats’ health-care overhaul. The two parties clashed Tuesday over plans by Republicans, who will take control of the House when Congress reconvenes, to hold a vote next week to repeal the health law (Bendavid, Hook and Adamy, 1/5).

The Washington Post: Both Sides Prepare To Battle Over Repeal Of Health-Care Law
As Congress members prepare to fight anew over the federal law overhauling the health-care system, activists on both sides of the issue are gearing up for a sequel to last year’s raucous debate (Thompson, 1/4).

The New York Times: U.S. Alters Rule On Paying For End-Of-Life Planning
The Obama administration, reversing course, will revise a Medicare regulation to delete references to end-of-life planning as part of the annual physical examinations covered under the new health care law, administration officials said Tuesday (Robert Pear, 1/4).

Los Angeles Times: Homeless Patients Present Unique Problems For Venice Free Clinic
Delivering preventive care, the doctors believe, not only keeps their patients healthier, it also makes financial sense. People who live on the streets are up to five times more likely to be hospitalized than those with roofs over their heads. Those hospitalizations produce big medical bills that wind up being subsidized by taxpayers and consumers with private insurance (Helfand, 1/5).

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