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May 15, 2013

US Senate confirms Tavenner as Medicare/Medicaid chief

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate on Wednesday confirmed Marilyn Tavenner, a former nurse and hospital company executive, as the first full-fledged administrator for the Medicare and Medicaid healthcare programs since 2006.

In a rare show of bipartisanship on a healthcare issue, senators voted 91-7 to back President Barack Obama’s nominee for administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), an $820 billion agency that oversees the bulk of federal healthcare spending and healthcare reform.

May 14, 2013

Two million fewer U.S. uninsured to gain health coverage: Congressional researchers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s landmark healthcare reform law will extend coverage to 2 million fewer uninsured Americans than expected only a few months ago, congressional researchers said on Tuesday.

A new report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said 25 million people who currently lack insurance will obtain coverage through subsidized marketplaces or an expanded Medicaid program over the coming decade, down from a February CBO estimate of 27 million people.

May 14, 2013

Two mln fewer U.S. uninsured to gain health coverage-Congressional researchers

WASHINGTON, May 14 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s
landmark healthcare reform law will extend coverage to 2 million
fewer uninsured Americans than expected only a few months ago,
congressional researchers said on Tuesday.

A new report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget
Office said 25 million people who currently lack insurance will
obtain coverage through subsidized marketplaces or an expanded
Medicaid program over the coming decade, down from a February
CBO estimate of 27 million people.

May 14, 2013

U.S. charges 89 people in $223 million Medicare fraud schemes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Federal officials charged 89 people including doctors, nurses and other medical professionals in eight U.S. cities on Tuesday with Medicare fraud schemes that the government said totaled $223 million in false billings.

In the latest big Medicare fraud crackdown, more than 400 law enforcement officers including FBI agents fanned out in Miami, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York and other cities to make arrests. Authorities said suspects posed as physicians, preyed on the poor and otherwise scammed the $590 billion healthcare program with phony or unnecessary bills.

May 14, 2013

US senator says Sebelius should stop healthcare fundraising

WASHINGTON, May 13 (Reuters) – An Obama administration
effort to raise private donations to help implement President
Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law came under fire on Monday
from congressional Republicans who claim the action could
violate the law.

As the Republican-controlled House of Representatives
prepared to mount a new vote this week to try to repeal the law,
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton asked
the administration to identify the companies and organizations
that have received fundraising calls from Health and Human
Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

May 11, 2013

Obama’s health secretary seeks donations from companies for healthcare law

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is asking companies for financial donations to help implement President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul, months before it is due to take effect.

In telephone calls that began around March 23, officials say, Obama’s top healthcare adviser has been seeking assistance from companies in the healthcare field and other industries as well as from healthcare providers, patient advocacy groups, churches and other charitable organizations.

May 9, 2013

White House, Republicans spar anew over “Obamacare”

WASHINGTON, May 9 (Reuters) – The White House announced a
new $150 million initiative on Thursday to get uninsured
Americans covered under President Barack Obama’s healthcare
reform law, as Republicans raised the volume on their calls for
“Obamacare” to be repealed.

The enrollment program will funnel money to about 1,200
community health centers to hire and train thousands of workers
who will help people obtain coverage through new subsidized
online marketplaces and an expanded Medicaid program for the
poor.

May 9, 2013

Republicans refuse to name members to U.S. healthcare panel

WASHINGTON, May 9 (Reuters) – In a largely symbolic move,
Republican leaders in Congress told President Barack Obama on
Thursday that they will not participate in picking members of a
controversial healthcare panel intended to restrain cost growth
in the Medicare health insurance program for the elderly and
disabled.

House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner and Senate
Republican leader Mitch McConnell informed the president in a
May 9 letter that they will not recommend appointments to the
15-member Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB, and want
the panel repealed instead.

May 8, 2013

U.S. makes data available on wide disparity in hospital charges

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration revealed what over 3,000 hospitals charge for common medical procedures in an early effort to challenge healthcare costs by showing consumers how prices for the same service can vary by tens of thousands of dollars.

The most extensive release of hospital charge rates to date showed dramatic variations in prices between different hospitals, even when they are located in the same city or town.

May 7, 2013

US budget cuts hit healthcare from flu watch to hospitals

NEW YORK, May 7 (Reuters) – America’s budget cuts may be
beginning to take a toll on the U.S. public health system, from
efforts to track global flu outbreaks to policing a surge in
food and drug imports.

Participants at the Reuters Health Summit in New York this
week spoke to the immediate impact of $85 billion in automatic
government-wide budget cuts that began on March 1. This
so-called sequestration was set in motion when Congress failed
to reach a deal to reduce the nation’s budget deficit.

    • 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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