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Jun 14, 2013

Final Obamacare push will pitch to the low-income young

WASHINGTON, June 14 (Reuters) – In the final months leading
up to the launch of the key piece of President Barack Obama’s
healthcare reforms, the administration is preparing a
public-education campaign designed to connect directly with the
audience most critical for the law’s success.

The effort will focus on selling the merits of the Patient
Protection and Affordable Care Act to 2.7 million Americans with
little or no health coverage, who are 18-to-35 years old, mostly
male, and largely nonwhite, including many who are black or
Hispanic, officials involved in the planning told Reuters.

Jun 9, 2013

Republican IRS agent says Cincinnati began ‘Tea Party’ inquiries

WASHINGTON, June 9 (Reuters) – A U.S. Internal Revenue
Service manager, who described himself as a conservative
Republican, told congressional investigators that he and a local
colleague decided to give conservative groups the extra scrutiny
that has prompted weeks of political controversy.

In an official interview transcript released on Sunday by
Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings, the manager said he
and an underling set aside “Tea Party” and “patriot” groups that
had applied for tax-exempt status because the organizations
appeared to pose a new precedent that could affect future IRS
filings.

Jun 9, 2013

Democrat: IRS testimony shows no White House involvement

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A conservative Republican overseeing Internal Revenue Service screeners in Cincinnati told congressional investigators that he does not believe the White House was behind IRS scrutiny of conservative groups, a leading Democratic lawmaker said on Sunday.

Representative Elijah Cummings, top Democrat on the House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is conducting the probe, said excepts of the IRS manager’s interview with investigators shows the agency set aside “Tea Party” and “patriot” groups to ensure that treatment of their applications for tax-exempt status was consistent.

Jun 6, 2013

FDA panel votes to relax Avandia restrictions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. health advisers voted on Thursday to recommend relaxing market restrictions on GlaxoSmithKline’s diabetes drug Avandia, the former blockbuster at the center of one of the biggest drug controversies in recent years.

The vote, by a divided Food and Drug Administration advisory committee of outside health experts, could modestly enlarge the market for Avandia in the United States and lay the groundwork for further research into the drug’s health risks. FDA will now take the vote into consideration for a final decision on how the pill also known by the generic name rosiglitazone can be used.

Jun 5, 2013

FDA panel revisits Avandia, likely too late for diabetes drug

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel of outside experts reopened one of the biggest drug controversies in recent years on Wednesday at a meeting where they will decide whether to recommend lifting marketing restrictions on GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s Avandia diabetes drug.

The two-day FDA advisory committee meeting is not expected to bring about a major boost in sales for the onetime blockbuster product. But its findings may help revive the credibility of the British company’s original research and shed light on today’s U.S. regulatory approach to the health risks posed by new drugs.

Jun 4, 2013

Sebelius says she talked to health firms on Obamacare outreach

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said on Tuesday that she talked to three healthcare companies about a private nonprofit group helping to implement healthcare reform, but she denied asking for donations.

In her first public comments on an issue Republicans have sought to portray as a scandal, Sebelius vigorously defended her efforts to rally private support for a summer outreach campaign to persuade uninsured Americans to sign up for subsidized health coverage through new online state insurance marketplaces.

Jun 3, 2013

Obamacare Medicaid feud to leave 3.6 million uninsured -study

WASHINGTON, June 3 (Reuters) – Fourteen Republican-led
states that oppose expanding Medicaid under President Barack
Obama’s health reform will leave 3.6 million of their poorest
adult residents uninsured, at a cost of $9.4 billion per year by
2017, researchers said on Monday.

The findings, published in the journal Health Affairs, could
point to a larger-than-expected impact from the bitter political
feud engulfing a major provision of the healthcare reform law
due to take full effect next year.

May 30, 2013

White House touts insurer signups for Obama health markets

WASHINGTON, May 30 (Reuters) – The White House, seeking to
show early success for President Barack Obama’s health reforms,
said more than 120 insurers have applied to sell plans on
federally-run online marketplaces that begin offering
subsidized coverage in just over four months.

Based on a memo released by senior administration officials,
about 5 million consumers could be able to choose from a variety
of plans from at least five insurance companies with coverage
that meets new quality standards set down by the 2010 Patient
Protection and Affordable Care Act.

May 28, 2013

Sebelius asks physician assistants for Obamacare outreach help

WASHINGTON, May 28 (Reuters) – U.S. Health and Human
Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asked a group representing
nearly 46,000 physician assistants on Tuesday to help persuade
uninsured Americans to sign up for coverage under President
Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law.

As part of a politically embattled administration effort to
rally support for the landmark reform law, Sebelius appealed to
physician assistants as care providers who treat large numbers
of people with little or no health insurance, including those in
Republican-controlled states that have rejected the 2010 Patient
Protection and Affordable Care Act.

May 21, 2013

Analysis: Some Republicans see new scandal in Sebelius fundraising

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – With the White House already reeling from three major controversies, some Republican lawmakers are zeroing in on what they perceive is another possible scandal tied to President Barack Obama’s landmark health reform law just as it nears implementation.

On top of the troubles the administration is facing over its handling of the attack on the Benghazi mission, the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups, and the Justice Department’s seizure of Associated Press phone records, Republicans hope to target Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

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      "David Morgan has covered news from Wall Street and Fleet Street to the White House, the Pentagon and Congress, including politics, macroeconomics, military affairs, corporate finance, U.S. intelligence, national security and the international markets. He has also reported from Atlanta on the rise of American conservatism, civil rights, homegrown terrorism and the Olympics, and helped chronicle the Sept. 11 attacks and their aftermath from Philadelphia, New York and Washington."
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