Login

Forgot password?
Sign up today and your first download is free.
REGISTER

Congress

April 09, 2007 | Daily News

Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-MT) is scheduled to meet with colleagues early Tuesday (April 10) to vet long-awaited legislation related to government negotiation of drug prices under Medicare Part D, according to a number of well-placed lobbyist and congressional sources. Democrats hope to mark up the bill soon, perhaps as early as Thursday, sources said.

April 09, 2007 | Daily News

As part of his ongoing investigation into the practices of nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations, Sen. Charles Grassley (IA) wants Congress' investigative arm to take another look at whether nonprofit hospitals meet their requirement to provide community benefits in exchange for the tax breaks they receive.

April 05, 2007 | Daily News

Insurance stocks were up after CMS announced final 2008 Medicare Advantage (MA) payment rate increases that exceeded expectations Monday (April 2). The agency is vowing to clamp down on marketing and performance as Congress collects data on such abuses in an effort to justify MA reforms.

April 02, 2007 | Daily News

The Senate last Thursday (March 29) passed an emergency 2007 spending bill that supplies $747 million to patch federal SCHIP deficits projected to hit 14 states this fiscal year. The $122 billion bill next requires negotiations with House lawmakers, who passed their own emergency supplemental bill earlier in the month, including $750 million for State Children's Health Insurance Programs.

March 30, 2007 | Daily News

Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA), chairman of the Ways & Means health subcommittee, reintroduced legislation Thursday (March 29) to provide comprehensive health care to all U.S. residents through a Medicare-administered program that would include coverage for prescription drugs and mental health services, as well as expanded benefits for children, pregnant women and low income patients.

March 29, 2007 | Daily News

Sen. Charles Grassley, ranking Republican of the Senate Finance Committee, Wednesday (March 28) took to the Senate floor to denounce Sen. Richard Durbin's (D-IL) amendment to the war supplemental that would force CMS to delay implementing a controversial rule that would limit state Medicaid payments and intergovernmental transfers (IGTs) for two years.

March 29, 2007 | Daily News

The House Education and Labor Committee, as part of its plan to step up congressional oversight of OSHA, may take a closer look at some of the industry sectors hardest hit by ergonomics injuries, such as nursing and meatpacking, committee staffer Jordan Barab suggested at the American Bar Association's recent meeting in Naples, FL. The committee will probe OSHA's slow pace in issuing ergonomics guidelines, which the agency promised to draft when its ergonomics standard was repealed by Congress many years ago, as part of an incremental focus on ergonomics.

March 29, 2007 | Daily News

Wisconsin lawmakers and consumer advocates are protesting CMS' plan to turn the state's popular SeniorCare program -- the only remaining state demonstration receiving federal matching funds to cover prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries -- into a benefit that wraps around Part D. SeniorCare supporters say the current program is cheaper than Part D, and Wisconsin could not afford to offer similar coverage under a wrap-around model.

March 28, 2007 | Daily News

House Ways & Means health subcommittee Chair Pete Stark (D-CA) weighed into the mental health parity debate Friday by introducing a bill that aims to increase Medicare coverage of mental health services by eliminating the lifetime 190-day inpatient mental health coverage cap, among other key provisions.

The bill, the Medicare Mental Health Modernization Act of 2007, would also lift the "50 percent rule" and apply the normal 20 percent co-pay to all Medicare mental health services.

March 28, 2007 | Daily News

Three Republicans on the Senate health committee have drafted an alternative to the leading Senate drug safety bill. The alternative bill meets FDA's preference for using electronic prescription and health data to monitor drugs once they are on the market, sources say, instead of giving the agency a host of new authorities.

March 28, 2007 | Daily News

Boosting Medicare reimbursement and expanding treatment options for beneficiaries who suffer from mental illness will not significantly increase taxpayer costs, but will eliminate an institutional discrimination against diseases of the mind, while possibly reducing associated health care costs born by the economy as a whole, mental health professionals told Congress Tuesday.

March 27, 2007 | Daily News

Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America President Billy Tauzin warned Tuesday (March 27) that industry opposes the central provision in the Senate's leading drug safety bill, and is loathe to pay user fees to support the risk evaluation and mitigation strategy measure. Lawmakers are considering attaching the drug safety bill to this year's reauthorization of drug user fee law.

March 27, 2007 | Daily News

Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT) says he will stick to his own legislative proposal tweaking market protections in pediatric exclusivity legislation and not include proposals offered by colleagues to either shorten or lengthen exclusivity periods.

March 23, 2007 | Daily News

FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach did not have an easy time Thursday (March 22) before the House Energy and Commerce Committee oversight panel. He took heat for comments he made that were perceived as threatening toward whistleblowers, for bringing written testimony that contradicted what committee members have learned from their own investigations, and for blowing off a 23-page report on Accutane -- a personal crusade of the oversight panel's chair.

March 22, 2007 | Daily News

Democratic lawmakers are probing the administration for data on how many Medicare Advantage patients have availed themselves of the extra benefits that these Part C plans provide, data they hope will help them determine how much to cut back federal overpayments to these plans.

As Congress faces tough budget decisions, House Ways & Means health subcommittee Chair Pete Stark (D-CA) said at a hearing Wednesday that doctors, hospitals, post-acute care, drug plan payments and "Medicare Advantage payments, too" are all "on the table."

March 22, 2007 | Daily News

House Oversight and Government Reform Chair Henry Waxman (D-CA) will hold a hearing Monday (March 26) on biogenerics.

A witness list had not been released.

Waxman is the lead House sponsor of legislation that would create an approval pathway for generic versions of biologic drugs. He is joined in the Senate by New York Democrats Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer.

March 22, 2007 | Daily News

The Senate Wednesday (March 21) tacked to its 2008 budget resolution an additional $15 billion toward reauthorization of the State Children's Health Insurance Program, hiking the total on-budget tally for SCHIP to $30 billion over the next five years.

The popular state-federal partnership is due to expire Sept. 30, but Democratic leaders have vowed to renew it with no fewer than $50 billion -- all of which must be offset according to pay-go rules.

March 22, 2007 | Daily News

Three key House committees are launching probes into FDA, CMS and industry's handling of new safety concerns with widely prescribed anti-anemia drugs. Ways & Means health subcommittee chair Pete Stark (D-MA) vowed Tuesday to closely monitor CMS' review of its policies on Epoetin (EPO). Energy & Commerce Chair John Dingell (D-MI) a day later launched his own probe into FDA and industry's handling of EPO safety issues, and demanded EPO makers cease consumer advertising. Plus, Oversight & Government Reform Chair Henry Waxman (D-CA) is planning his own hearing, a key source says.

March 21, 2007 | Daily News

Congress will not intervene to empower CMS with access to IRS records in order to catch Medicare providers who are simultaneously tax cheats, Senate lawmakers said Tuesday (March 20), rebuffing a request by CMS' top bureaucrat. Instead, lawmakers are demanding that CMS step up its cooperation with other federal agencies in efforts to "match" Medicare providers with tax evaders for the purpose of recovering debt.

March 21, 2007 | Daily News

House appropriators last week dropped an earlier plan to dip into hospital emergency care spending to partially offset $750 million tucked into the emergency spending measure to prevent 14 states from running out of federal SCHIP funds this fiscal year. Democratic leaders had initially indicated the SCHIP provision alone would be partially offset -- primarily by rescinding unspent funds allocated to hospitals for emergency care to undocumented immigrants -- but changed tacks at the last minute and scrapped their offset plan altogether.

Pages