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Feb 25, 2013

White House steps up campaign to avoid spending cuts

WASHINGTON, Feb 25 (Reuters) – The White House escalated a
campaign on Monday to convince Americans dire consequences await
if government spending cuts go ahead on March 1, warning of a
slow down in global trade, a stalled fight against cancer and
Alzheimer’s disease and compromised security at U.S. borders.

At the same time, prominent Republicans said President
Barack Obama was overstating the potential damage of the $85
billion in government-wide cuts to frighten the public.

Feb 24, 2013

Latest Simpson-Bowles health plan stirs worry but lacks detail

WASHINGTON, Feb 24 (Reuters) – A new bipartisan
deficit-reduction plan to slash a massive $600 billion from U.S.
healthcare spending over two decades has policy experts
scratching their heads over how such an ambitious target can be
reached.

Democrat Erskine Bowles and Republican Alan Simpson have yet
to declare what they would do to wring savings from Medicare,
Medicaid and other programs, according to analysts who provide
the two deficit hawks with their facts and figures.

Feb 22, 2013

U.S. sticks to limits on health insurance charges for older people

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration on Friday finalized new consumer safeguards for health insurance that impose tighter restrictions on what insurers can charge older customers, despite industry warnings that the young may be forced to pay more as a result.

The Department of Health and Human Services rejected an industry request to phase in a reform prohibiting insurers from charging older beneficiaries premiums more than three times higher than those available to younger adults.

Feb 20, 2013

U.S. issues final word on essential benefits under ‘Obamacare’

WASHINGTON, Feb 20 (Reuters) – The Obama administration on
Wednesday issued its long-awaited final rule on what states and
insurers must do to provide the essential health benefits
required in the individual and small-group market beginning in
2014 under the healthcare reform law.

A cornerstone of President Barack Obama’s plan to enhance
the breadth of healthcare coverage in the United States, the
mandate allows the 50 U.S. states a role in identifying benefit
requirements and grants insurers a phased-in accreditation
process for plans sold on federal healthcare exchanges.

Feb 20, 2013

U.S. releases list of health benefits insurers must offer

WASHINGTON, Feb 20 (Reuters) – The Obama administration on
Wednesday issued its long-awaited final rule on essential health
benefits that insurers must offer consumers in the individual
and small-group market beginning in 2014 under the healthcare
reform law.

A cornerstone of President Barack Obama’s plan to enhance
the breadth of healthcare coverage in the United States, the
mandate allows the 50 U.S. states a role in identifying benefit
requirements and grants insurers a phased-in accreditation
process for plans sold on federal healthcare exchanges.

Feb 15, 2013

U.S. Catholic bishops ask Congress for contraceptives reprieve

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Roman Catholic bishops stepped up their battle against President Obama’s contraceptives policy on Friday by urging Congress to use its fiscal debate to free religious employers from a mandate requiring insurance coverage for birth control.

In a letter to all 535 members of Congress, Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore suggested two provisions to extend existing federal conscience protections to the contraceptives mandate and strengthen the ability of opponents to seek vindication in federal court.

Feb 14, 2013

U.S. official touts health insurance markets, lawmakers leery

WASHINGTON, Feb 14 (Reuters) – The Obama administration on
Thursday assured U.S. lawmakers that it is on track to enroll
millions of people in new state health insurance markets, but it
quickly came under fire from Republicans and Democrats about how
costly the coverage may be.

Gary Cohen, the Department of Health and Human Services
official responsible for implementation of the markets known as
health exchanges, told a Senate panel the online marketplaces
would meet an Oct. 1 enrollment deadline in all 50 states.

Feb 13, 2013

Obama Medicare rebate plan could hurt drug companies

Feb 13 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s decision to
spotlight drug rebates as a way to save money on Medicare is
likely to be opposed by the pharmaceutical industry, which could
potentially lose billions of dollars in profits.

In his annual State of the Union speech on Tuesday, Obama
said he would “reduce taxpayer subsidies to prescription drug
companies” to rein in the rising cost of Medicare, the $600
billion healthcare program for the elderly and disabled.

Feb 8, 2013

Catholic bishops reject Obama offer on contraceptive coverage

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Roman Catholic bishops on Thursday rejected the Obama Administration’s latest bid for compromise over a hotly disputed health policy that requires employees at religiously affiliated institutions to have access to insurance coverage for contraceptives.

Cardinal Timothy Donlan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said his group would redouble efforts to reach an agreement on the contraceptives issue after more than a year of protest and scores of federal lawsuits from Catholics groups and other social conservatives.

Feb 5, 2013

Social Security, health spending to hit $3.2 trillion a year

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Spending on Social Security and healthcare will double to $3.2 trillion a year over the next decade, threatening a sharp rise in national debt unless Congress acts to avoid the danger, congressional researchers warned on Tuesday.

A report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office did not put forth a plan to resolve the long-term imbalance between revenues and spending on retirement and healthcare benefits. But it said that action taken now would help minimize the economic impact of whatever course lawmakers can agree on.

    • 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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