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Jul 22, 2014

U.S. court rulings create new uncertainty over Obamacare

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two U.S. judicial panels on Tuesday injected new uncertainty into the future of President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, with conflicting rulings over whether the federal government can subsidize health insurance for millions of Americans.

The appeals court rulings, handed down by three-judge panels in Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Virginia, augured a possible rematch before the U.S. Supreme Court, which in June 2012 narrowly upheld the Democratic president’s 2010 healthcare overhaul.

Jul 22, 2014

Court deals blow to Obama health law by limiting subsidies

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. federal judicial panel on Tuesday dealt a potentially devastating blow to President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, throwing out a provision that provides millions of Americans with subsidies for private health insurance.

The 2-1 decision, which could lead to a new showdown over Obamacare before the U.S. Supreme Court, would prevent the administration from offering premium tax credits to people who purchase insurance through the federal insurance marketplace that serves most of the 8 million consumers who have signed up for private coverage for 2014.

Jul 17, 2014

Before anthrax mishap, CDC made similar lab safety pledges-lawmaker

WASHINGTON/CHICAGO, July 17 (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers
investigating repeated safety lapses at government laboratories
questioned Thursday whether the U.S. Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention was up to the task of fixing the problem, given
similar promises to remedy such breaches in 2012.

The CDC is under scrutiny for a June incident, in which more
than 80 lab workers may have been exposed to live anthrax
bacteria that was mistakenly sent out of a high-security lab on
its Atlanta campus. Federal investigators have since reported
dozens of other infractions at CDC labs that handle deadly
pathogens such as anthrax and avian flu.

Jul 16, 2014

U.S. lawmakers cite ‘dangerous pattern’ of lapses at CDC

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers said on Wednesday there was evidence of a “dangerous pattern” of safety lapses at government laboratories dealing with dangerous pathogens such as anthrax and avian flu that required a change in culture at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Members of a subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee cited new information on breaches previously unreported by CDC, which is under scrutiny for the potential exposure of more than 80 lab workers to live anthrax bacteria in June. Their comments, made at a hearing on Wednesday, came ahead of testimony by the CDC’s director, Dr Thomas Frieden.

Jul 16, 2014

U.S. House panel to probe if there was cover-up in CDC lab mishap

WASHINGTON, July 15 (Reuters) – A congressional panel
probing the mishandling of dangerous pathogens at federal
laboratories will try to determine if U.S. officials sought to
cover up an incident involving deadly avian flu, its Republican
chairman said on Tuesday.

Representative Tim Murphy said lawmakers will also look at
whether lab workers face adequate “consequences” for failing to
follow rules, and consider new legislation if penalties are
lacking when actions endanger the public.

Jul 15, 2014

U.S. officials purge biosafety board in midst of anthrax crisis

NEW YORK, July 15 (Reuters) – Federal officials, amid the
worst U.S. biosafety crisis in years, have dismissed 11 eminent
scientists from a 23-member panel that advises the government on
how and whether research on dangerous pathogens should be

The purged members were informed that their service was no
longer needed via an email on Sunday night from Mary Groesch,
executive director of the National Science Advisory Board for
Biosecurity (NSABB). Two of the dismissed members told Reuters
that the notice came without warning. The panel is overseen by
the National Institutes of Health.

Jul 8, 2014

U.S. Democrats aim to turn contraception into campaign drive

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Democrats hope to turn their legal setback on Obamacare and contraception into a winning autumn campaign issue by pushing legislation requiring employers to include birth control in healthcare coverage.

Democrats in the Senate and House of Representatives unveiled bills on Tuesday to override last week’s Supreme Court 5-4 ruling that allowed closely held corporations to forego for religious reasons President Barack Obama’s healthcare regulation requiring insurance plans to cover contraceptives.

Jul 8, 2014

U.S. senators say federal action may be needed to curb ‘re-homing’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers said on Tuesday that the federal government may have to take a stronger role to stop parents from transferring custody of their adopted children to strangers they meet on the Internet.

    At a subcommittee hearing in the U.S. Senate, lawmakers took their first look at the practice known as “private re-homing,” which bypasses the government’s child welfare system to leave boys and girls in the custody of strangers, often with little more than a notarized power of attorney.

Jun 20, 2014

CDC anthrax scare raises worries in Congress about lab safety

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A growing anthrax scare at three government laboratories is drawing scrutiny from Congress about whether the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has the appropriate safety procedures in place to protect federal employees from contamination.

Oversight committees in both the Senate and the House of Representatives are weighing whether the potential exposure of 84 people to one of the deadliest strains of anthrax at CDC facilities in Atlanta could merit formal congressional hearings, aides said.

Jun 20, 2014

U.S. creates new CEO position for Obamacare insurance marketplace

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s new health secretary moved swiftly on Friday to shore up administration oversight of Obamacare with a series of management changes to address weaknesses blamed for last year’s crash of the federal website, HealthCare.gov.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell named Optum executive Andy Slavitt, who led day-to-day operations to fix the faulty website, to a new No. 2 post at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), giving him authority for policy and operational coordination for the agency’s initiatives.

    • About David

      "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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