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July 17, 2012 | Daily News

House appropriators plan to mark up on Wednesday (July 18) a bill that would cut more than $1 billion from HHS in fiscal 2013, defund the healthcare law and put a prohibition on providing any new discretionary funding for the law's implementation.

June 20, 2012 | Daily News

Key health policy experts said Wednesday (June 20) that they do not believe the Supreme Court will do more than strike the health law's individual mandate -- if they decide at all that a part of the law is unconstitutional -- and the highly watched high court ruling could very well be “anti-climactic.”

June 20, 2012 | Daily News

Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) on Wednesday (June 20) introduced a bill that likely would set the federal government's share of every state's Medicaid expenditures at 74.18 percent -- the highest of any state today -- and would determine federal payment to state Medicaid programs based on a risk-adjusted per capita calculation in four categories of Medicaid beneficiaries.

June 13, 2012 | Daily News

Projects receiving grant funding under a health reform-created program designed to spur development of new medical products should also seek to solve wider problems in drug development and benefit patients more broadly, including addressing gaps in regulatory science, FDA's top scientist told a group of stakeholders working to implement the Cures Acceleration Network.

June 13, 2012 | Daily News

A slew of industry, public health and infectious disease groups are pushing Senate appropriators to provide, at minimum, the administration-requested $547 million in funding for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, a request a Senate Appropriations subcommittee countered by proposing to give the program $485 million, although still an increase over last year.

June 07, 2012 | Daily News

Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) is calling on HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to provide a detailed account of how the impending budget sequester will be applied to department programs and how the funding cuts will affect medical research and development, access to new medical treatments and other HHS programs.

June 06, 2012 | Daily News

The Obama administration has ordered all executive branch departments and agencies except the Pentagon to cut their budget requests for fiscal 2014 by 5 percent below the 2014 level proposed in the 2013 budget, as part of a broader deficit reduction plan the White House says is needed even if Congress is able to avert the sequesters mandated by the Budget Control Act.

May 31, 2012 | Daily News

House and Senate GOP leadership on Thursday (May 31) proposed to revise the Medicaid provider tax threshold as an alternative way to pay for legislation that would avert a student loan interest rate hike on July 1, a move immediately blasted by hospitals.

May 24, 2012 | Daily News

Prior to voting in favor of FDA user fee legislation Thursday (May 24), the Senate took up nearly 20 amendments, with several passing by unanimous consent and the remainder either tabled, withdrawn or rejected. The following is a quick snapshot of the Senate votes leading up to final passage of the bill.

May 09, 2012 | Daily News

FDA's top official said a budget sequestration would disproportionately affect agency food programs as they are not reliant on user fees like other areas of the agency and the budget hits would come as the agency is already struggling to find resources to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg warned the agency might have to step away from certain food initiatives it values to prioritize “core functions” if faced with a budget sequestration, although FDA is committed to implementation of the food safety law.

May 09, 2012 | Daily News

Food safety advocates are gearing up for the possibility that FDA will need to de-emphasize certain food programs, such as those without statutory deadlines, in order to get the new food safety system off the ground, and have begun identifying areas that might be affected. Top agency officials are also eying options to prepare for budget hits that they believe could disproportionately affect food programs (see related story).

April 27, 2012 | Daily News

A coalition of mostly rural hospitals is pointing to CMS' recently released hospital IPPS rule's revelation that Massachusetts hospitals will receive a 5.5 percent wage index increase -- while rural hospitals will see a 0.3 percent reduction -- to again call on Congress to reverse the ACA-driven policy. The Massachusetts increase and the projected increase of 3.1 percent for other urban hospitals in New England are a result of an Affordable Care Act provision that altered the wage index so that it must be budget neutral on a national, rather than state-based, level.

April 26, 2012 | Daily News

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday (April 26) cleared the FDA fiscal 2013 funding bill, providing an increase of $22 million over last year's funding level and a $12.5 million increase over the president's budget request to go toward implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act.

April 25, 2012 | Daily News

The Senate Appropriations Committee will mark up the FDA funding bill Thursday (April 26), the committee announced Tuesday, with funding advocates also anticipating a markup of the House appropriations bill within the next few weeks.

April 24, 2012 | Daily News

The Medicare Advantage demonstration that pays bonuses for average performance is a way to keep MA enrollment high because the bonuses are sufficient for plans to maintain some of the extra benefits that they provide, a government official said Monday (April 23). The administration has held out high enrollment numbers as an example of why Republicans were wrong to say that Democrats were going to ruin MA plans with deep MA pay cuts in the Affordable Care Act.

April 20, 2012 | Daily News

The House Energy and Commerce Committee is proposing to repeal health reform law's prevention fund, rescind unobligated state exchange grants and defund the CO-OP program as well as reform medical liability law and repeal the maintenance of effort requirements on states for Medicaid and CHIP, according to proposals the committee will markup as a part of the budget

April 18, 2012 | Daily News

Several health care economists on Wednesday (April 18) appeared to agree that the rapid growth rate of health care spending is a more pressing problem to immediately tackle than the high level of health care spending in the country, but many experts pointed to other factors apart from price and excess quantity as being drivers of the cost growth, including a lack of management, poor provider incentives, intensity upon seeking medical care and a lack of focus on value.

April 17, 2012 | Daily News

The House Ways and Means Committee is proposing to make people pay back all of the health insurance premium tax credits they were overpaid when individuals end up earning more than expected in a given year, which would save $44 billion over 10 years, according to documents posted in advance of the House committee's budget reconciliation markup on Wednesday (April 18).

April 13, 2012 | Daily News

The House Energy and Commerce Committee may seek to eliminate the health law's prevention fund as well as other funding measures that GOP members view as “slush funds” and to reform medical liability law when it takes up budget legislation designed to avert a funding sequester, a GOP aide said, and lobbyists expect Ways and Means to also include high-profile health care policies when it takes up the bill.

April 11, 2012 | Daily News

The White House is criticizing a new study by GOP Medicare and Social Security Public Trustee Charles Blahous that finds the health reform law will add at least $340 billion to the deficit over the next decade, saying the claims are false and that the study uses “another brand of 'new math'” to come to its conclusions.