Daily Rounds: Reform Bill Lobbying; Toxic Sofas; Genetic Test Costs; Obesity Tax

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Don't miss NPR's 'Sick in America' poll, including the summary of findings and the data. "Three of four people who were sick said cost is a very serious problem, and half said quality is a very serious problem."

Hospitals mobilize on health cost bill (The Boston Globe) "The House proposal, unveiled 10 days earlier, called in part for closer oversight of the prices and operations of hospitals and their physicians groups, especially more costly ones like those owned by Partners, and influential board chairman Jack Connors requested a meeting. Too much regulation, he warned, referring to the health care industry, could hurt the “golden goose.’’ The Harvard-affiliated Partners has led the lobbying charge among hospitals deeply worried that the House legislation and other bills - intended to bring relief to consumers and employers struggling to pay high health insurance premiums - could harm their ability to provide high-quality care and cost jobs."

Are you safe on that sofa? (The New York Times) "For years, I’ve written about this type of chemical, endocrine disruptors, but The Chicago Tribune has just published a devastating investigative series called “Playing With Fire” that breaks vast new ground. It is superb journalism. It turns out that our furniture first became full of flame retardants because of the tobacco industry, according to internal cigarette company documents examined by The Tribune. A generation ago, tobacco companies were facing growing pressure to produce fire-safe cigarettes, because so many house fires started with smoldering cigarettes. So tobacco companies mounted a surreptitious campaign for flame retardant furniture, rather than safe cigarettes, as the best way to reduce house fires."

Genetic testing may not drive up costs ( "Having the results of a personalized genetic test did not drive patients to utilize potentially costly follow-up healthcare services, a study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found."

Editorial: The fatter the nation is, the more you pay (USA Today) "The fatter the nation is, the more you pay. Think of it as an annual tax of $1,300 to $1,700 per household, a bill that appears to be heading upward. A study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine projects that 42% of Americans will become obese by 2030. That's up from the already unmanageable current rate of 36%."

This program aired on May 21, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.