WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Dick Durbin, a senior Senate Democrat and close ally of President Barack Obama, urged fellow liberals on Tuesday to consider reforming Medicare and Medicaid, the U.S. healthcare programs they have long fought to shield from spending cuts.
The timing of his message – just as Democrats and Republicans struggling to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” looming early next year – and its prominence may signal that Democratic leaders and the White House will discuss social programs at the fiscal policy negotiating table.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s $1 trillion plan to expand Medicaid would raise state costs by only 3 percent and extend health coverage to more than 21 million low-income people as part of the new healthcare reform law, a study said on Monday.
The report released by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation said states would spend an extra $76 billion over the next decade to implement the Medicaid expansion, or 2.9 percent more than they would without the reform law. The federal government would fork out more than $950 billion to cover nearly all of the costs, the study said.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. administration on Tuesday proposed new health insurance rules aimed at ending discrimination against the sick and guaranteeing minimum benefits for millions of Americans who are expected to obtain coverage under President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law.
The rules, unveiled by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, provide states and insurers with details about how the Obama administration intends to achieve its long-stated goals of guaranteeing access to those with preexisting conditions and making affordable coverage available to families through new online health insurance exchanges.
WASHINGTON, Nov 19 (Reuters) – Republicans on a
congressional panel investigating a deadly meningitis outbreak
linked to tainted drugs have told the top U.S. drug regulator
not to expect new authority to prevent future problems until the
agency hands over documents about its role in the current
As the number of meningitis cases edged toward the 500-mark,
the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee’s
Republican majority staff released on Monday a letter that gave
the Food and Drug Administration until the end of November to
comply with a document request first made in mid-October.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Five Republican governors rejected on Friday a major provision of President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law that calls on states to set up online health insurance markets where consumers can purchase private coverage at federally subsidized rates.
That makes it likely that the federal government will establish its own markets, known as healthcare exchanges, in those states and potentially supplant state control of private individual insurance markets.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Republican governors of Ohio and Wisconsin on Friday rejected a major provision of President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law that calls on U.S. states to set up online health insurance markets.
The news, which came a day after the Obama administration gave states an extra month to decide their participation, demonstrates the differing political whirlwinds that reform has spawned in Republican-led states since Obama’s re-election ensured implementation of the healthcare law.
WASHINGTON, Nov 15 (Reuters) – The Democratic chairman of a
congressional panel investigating a deadly fungal meningitis
outbreak linked to compounded steroids predicted on Thursday
that U.S. lawmakers would take actions to prevent a similar
public health disaster.
The lawmaker, Senator Tom Harkin of the Senate Health,
Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, predicted that his
panel would find a bipartisan solution that would protect small
drug compounders from regulations that could mean higher
WASHINGTON, Nov 15 (Reuters) – U.S. states should remain the
primary regulators for compounding pharmacies, rather than the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration, despite a deadly fungal
meningitis outbreak that has killed 32 people since September,
an industry group said on Thursday.
The International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists,
headquartered in Missouri City, Texas, told a U.S. Senate
oversight panel that the meningitis outbreak raging across 19
states occurred because regulatory officials at both the state
and federal levels failed to take action under current laws.
WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. Republican lawmakers accused federal health regulators on Wednesday of failing to prevent a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak by not acting much earlier to shut down the compounding pharmacy at the center of the crisis.
As Congress began debate on whether new laws are needed to help the U.S. Food and Drug Administration police the little-known drug compounding industry, Republicans in a committee hearing warned against the knee-jerk adoption of new regulation.
WASHINGTON, Nov 14 (Reuters) – The top official at the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration has asked Congress to strengthen
federal authority over drug compounders that are not currently
subject to the stringent FDA safety and efficacy standards
imposed on drug manufacturers.
FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, in written testimony to
an oversight panel in the House of Representatives, said the FDA
should be given clear authority to test compounded drugs and
inspect the records of “non-traditional” compounding pharmacies
that pertain to prescriptions, shipping and volume of