Good ideas and troubling proposals

There are favorable and flawed ideas in the Health Care Cost Containment Act of 2004, according to the St. Paul-based Citizens' Council on Health Care (CCHC). An overview of the proposal's 36 ideas was released last Thursday by the Minnesota House Republicans.

Senator Norm Coleman's Medicare Payment Plan Questioned by CCHC

"Paying doctors and health plans in Medicare according to their performance essentially supports government directed medicine. It means that some official or group of officials outside the examination room will determine what constitutes a good performance in health care quality and what does not. Patients will have no say in the matter," says Brase.

Governor's Citizen Health Care Forum Lacks Citizens

"Since there is almost no representation of citizen groups on the Governor's Citizens Forum on Health Care Costs*, we find the name a bit puzzling. With the group's membership, the forum's mission is not likely to be oriented toward citizens and patients," says Brase.

Says federal government cannot assure citizens that privacy rights are protected

Personal data may not be adequately protected from collection, use and disclosure, according to a stinging report released today by the General Accounting Office. In a survey of 25 federal agencies, and through a GAO forum for federal privacy officers, the GAO found a significant lack of compliance with the federal Privacy Act of 1974.

CCHC Provides Online Comparison of Patient Safety Bills in Congress

To show how the patient safety bills promote such a system, CCHC has placed online a comparison of the sections of the two bills (H 663 and S 720) that promote building of a national health data system. The comparison was done before S 720 was amended significantly yesterday in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Patient Safety Bills in Congress: More Surveillance; Less Care?

Comparison of Patient Safety Bills (H 663 and S 720) The Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act - 2003

PATIENT SAFETY BILLS: More surveillance; less care (Correction)

The legislation being considered in a congressional committee tomorrow is aimed less at medical errors and more at building a national health surveillance system, according to the Citizens' Council on Health Care.

PATIENT SAFETY BILLS: More surveillance; less care

"This is less about safety and more about surveillance. This initiative is just one unfortunate consequence of the so-called medical privacy rule. Now that the rule is in effect, some members of Congress feel free to let medical records be shared without patient consent," says Twila Brase, president of the Citizens' Council on Health Care.

Patients are Answer to Medicare's Overspending Problems

With Medicare consistently losing tens of millions of dollars each month through improper payments, senior citizens need to be fully engaged in treatment and financial decisions, says Twila Brase, president of the Citizens' Council on Health Care.

Senate's Medicare Drug Plan will Limit Senior's Choice of Medication

This is drug coverage by committee. A bureaucratic process will determine which drugs are available and who gets them. Not every medication will be covered, covered medications can be denied, and private drug coverage may no longer be available," says Twila Brase, president of the Citizens' Council on Health Care.