David's Feed
Apr 17, 2013

Democratic senator says government has failed on healthcare outreach

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Democratic senator who helped craft President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law gave the administration “a failing grade” on Wednesday for its efforts to educate the public and small employers about sweeping changes due to take effect in eight months.

“I just see a huge train wreck,” Senator Max Baucus of Montana told Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at a hearing of the Senate Finance Committee, an oversight panel that he chairs.

Apr 7, 2013

U.S. lawmakers say China has failed to rein in North Korea

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – China has failed to use its influence to stop North Korea’s warlike rhetoric against the United States and U.S.-backed South Korea, despite an escalating crisis that could trigger armed conflict by accident, U.S. lawmakers said on Sunday.

Republican Senator John McCain, a member of the Armed Services Committee, criticized China’s “failure to rein in what could be a catastrophic situation,” saying Beijing could step up pressure on Pyongyang by using its influence over North Korea’s economy.

Mar 26, 2013

Some healthcare costs may rise when “Obamacare” implemented: official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s top healthcare adviser acknowledged on Tuesday that costs could rise in the individual health insurance market, particularly for men and younger people, because of the landmark 2010 healthcare restructuring due to take effect next year.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said definitive data on costs will not be available until later this year when private health plans become authorized to sell federally subsidized coverage on new state-based online marketplaces, known as exchanges.

Mar 24, 2013

Opponents mark Obamacare’s third anniversary with lobbying surge

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Eight months before President Barack Obama’s health care law goes prime time, a confederation of industry and business groups is ramping up its lobbying apparatus for an 11th-hour assault on the web of new taxes and regulations.

Medical device makers, health insurers, retailers and restaurants are waging what lobbyists call a coordinated effort to gain Senate Democratic support for overturning $130 billion in taxes that will be used to fund the new law, and repealing a mandate requiring employers to provide insurance coverage for full-time workers or pay a fine.

Mar 20, 2013

U.S. health innovations need time to show cost results: official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration on Wednesday said its experiments at controlling healthcare costs could need up to a year to produce results, frustrating congressional lawmakers eager to know if new innovations in care delivery can actually work.

Dr. Richard Gilfillan, who is overseeing the initiative at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, told the Senate Finance Committee that his agency is now testing three-dozen care delivery models involving 50,000 healthcare providers and more than 1 million beneficiaries.

Mar 19, 2013

Analysis: Arkansas Republicans seek an acceptable “Obamacare”

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two Republican state senators from Arkansas may soon accomplish what seasoned Washington politicians couldn’t: make the main provisions of President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul palatable to hard-core conservatives.

Jonathan Dismang and David Sanders, with two colleagues from the state House, believe they have come up with an alternative to the Medicaid expansion, as laid out in the law. Their idea is to use privatization to avoid the proliferation of government bureaucracy that conservatives vehemently oppose.

Mar 19, 2013

Arkansas Republicans seek an acceptable ‘Obamacare’

WASHINGTON, March 19 (Reuters) – Two Republican state
senators from Arkansas may soon accomplish what seasoned
Washington politicians couldn’t: make the main provisions of
President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul palatable to
hard-core conservatives.

Jonathan Dismang and David Sanders, with two colleagues from
the state House, believe they have come up with an alternative
to the Medicaid expansion, as laid out in the law. Their idea is
to use privatization to avoid the proliferation of government
bureaucracy that conservatives vehemently oppose.

Feb 28, 2013

Top quality Medicare Advantage plans in strong position-official

WASHINGTON, Feb 28 (Reuters) – Medicare Advantage insurance
plans that meet the program’s higher quality standards should be
in a strong position to withstand federal payment reductions
proposed for 2014, a senior U.S. health official said on
Thursday.

Jonathan Blum, acting principal deputy administrator for the
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), told the
Senate Finance Committee that insurance plans with four-star and
five-star Medicare quality ratings have seen enrollment more
than double in recent years, despite a huge drop in federal
payments.

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.

    • 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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