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February 14, 2012 | Daily News

CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said Monday (Feb. 13) that the majority of CMS' net discretionary funding increase of $1 billion in President Obama's fiscal year 2013 budget proposal would go toward implementation of the health reform law's exchanges.

February 13, 2012 | Daily News

The administration's FDA budget request includes more than $583 million in seven proposed new user fees, including two pending before Congress, with total industry fees funding 98 percent of the agency's $654 million increase over fiscal 2012 funding levels. The administration is also continuing its push to limit drug patent settlements between brand-name and generic drug makers and lower biologic exclusivity to seven years from the 12 years negotiated during health reform.

February 13, 2012 | Daily News

The president's plan to save $364 billion under Medicare and Medicaid relies on hard provider cuts and some proposed structural reforms -- a move that long-term care providers promptly protested would cut back benefits and hurt states. The White House budget would cut more than $50 billion from Medicaid -- including $17 billion over 10 years by establishing a new, and already controversial, “blended rate” for Medicaid and CHIP in 2017 and $21 billion by reducing provider taxes.

February 09, 2012 | Daily News

The Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care is urging conferees hashing out a Medicare physician pay solution to phase in CMS' 11.1 percent Medicare pay cut to nursing homes and to avoid using nursing-home cuts to pay for overriding the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula.

February 04, 2012 | Daily News

A coalition of 31 food groups is heading efforts to keep new food fees out of the administration's forthcoming fiscal 2013 budget, urging HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and the White House Office of Management and Budget in a Jan. 30 letter to focus instead on securing more appropriations for food safety activities.

February 01, 2012 | Daily News

Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-NY), a conferee negotiating on the Medicare physician payment fix, told Inside Health Policy that she is open to counting a reduction in war spending as an offset for permanently replacing the Sustainable Growth Rate formula.

January 31, 2012 | Daily News

There are still plenty of war savings left that could be used to pay for fixing the Medicare physician pay formula, according to the 2012 budget outlook that the Congressional Budget Office released Tuesday morning (Jan. 31), bolstering calls by providers for a permanent Sustainable Growth Rate fix paid for with savings from troop drawdowns. Troop drawdowns would save $838 billion over 10 years, CBO says, and keeping physician rates at their current levels for that same period would cost $316 billion, up from a June estimate of just under $300 billion.

January 27, 2012 | Daily News

Updated Story

House Energy and Commerce health subcommittee Chair Joe Pitts (R-PA) said he wants to cut spending from the health overhaul law to pay for delaying for two to three years a 27.4 percent cut to Medicare physician payment, which would do away with the need for hospital-pay cuts that were included in the House-passed Sustainable Growth Rate formula two-year patch. Pitts opposes the idea of using war savings as an offset, although other Republicans appear to be warming to the idea.

January 26, 2012 | Daily News

House Energy and Commerce health subcommittee Chair Joe Pitts (R-PA) is pushing for a two- or three-year Medicare physician payment fix paid for through Medicare cuts, and opposes the idea of using war savings as an offset although other Republicans appear to be warming to the idea.

January 26, 2012 | Daily News

This year's appropriations process could be more difficult for FDA than it has been in recent years because of a more constrained budget environment, the unlikelihood that major initiatives -- like the food safety law -- will continue to enjoy funding hikes, new funding needs that could surface through the reauthorization of user fees and a looming budget sequestration put in motion by the super committee's failure to hammer out a deficit plan, although the agency continues to have strong funding advocates, sources said.