Healthcare Reform: Reconciliation Mechanics

Healthcare reform appears dead to your editor. There are two ways for supporters of healthcare reform to accomplish their goal. The House could pass the Senate version as is, which would then go to the President and become law. The House will not pass the Senate bill because it has language in it that members do not agree with. The popular alternative is to use the “reconciliation” process. This process still requires the House pass the current Senate bill; then the House Budget Committee will report an Omnibus Reconciliation bill to the House floor. The key to this process is that the House must pass the Senate version of healthcare reform. Once the Senate version is passed, it can go to the President with or without the reconciliation bill passing. This makes the discussion over reconciliation a red herring. If House members approve the Senate bill they have no control over the outcome. The Senate may ignore their reconciliation bill which will leave them hanging. [Read the full article]

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The month of March brings with it the official start of spring” a season associated with renewal and romance, and, on a less lyrical level” with dusting, scrubbing, and otherwise engaging in the roll-up-your-sleeves ritual known as spring cleaning. While heavy-duty housework hardly sounds inviting, Health Net, Inc. (NYSE: HNT – News) wants to spread the word that spring cleaning not only results in a tidy abode, but also brings with it mental health benefits.

Studies have shown that a dirty, disorganized home can harbor health threats in the form of mold, bacteria and clutter-caused injuries, but such an environment also can negatively impact mental health, explains Ian Shaffer, M.D., chief medical officer of MHN, Health Net behavioral health subsidiary. [Read the full article]

The State of Pennsylvania notified Aetna (NYSE: AET – News) that it has awarded a Medicaid managed care contract to Aetna Better Health,SM Aetna Medicaid business.

Aetna Better Health of Pennsylvania will administer Medicaid benefits for the state of Pennsylvania. Aetna Better Health will begin providing services in Pennsylvania on April 1.

The program will offer health care coverage to Medicaid Medical Assistance (MA) members in the five-county Southeast Zone, including Philadelphia, Delaware, Chester, Montgomery and Bucks counties. The program also is offered in the ten-county Lehigh-Capital Zone, including Northampton, Lehigh, Berks, Lancaster, Lebanon, Dauphin, Perry, Cumberland, York and Adams counties. [Read the full article]

A MedCath Corp. executive who recently resigned has been named senior vice president and chief compliance officer at WellCare Health Plans Inc. WellCare (NYSE:WCG) provides managed-care services exclusively for government-sponsored health-care programs. Todt resigned March 1 as senior vice president, general counsel and secretary for cardiac-hospital owner MedCath Corp. (NASDAQ:MDTH), according to a company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. On March 2, the board at Charlotte-based MedCath announced it had formed a committee to consider the sale of either the company or its hospitals. MedCath has hired Navigant Capital Advisors as its financial adviser to assist the committee of independent directors. MedCath Chief Executive Ed French says the move is designed to enhance shareholder value. The company’s stock, which has traded between $5.70 and $13.63 over the last year, closed Friday at $8.48 per share. [Read the full article]

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