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Jan 15, 2013

AARP urges entitlement reform on broad issues, not deficit

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – AARP, the powerful lobbying group for older Americans, urged political leaders on Tuesday to pursue so-called entitlement reform as part of a wide-ranging discussion about healthcare costs and retirement security rather than as a narrower deal on deficit reduction.

Laying out their agenda in the run-up to an intensive new fiscal debate on Capitol Hill, AARP executives portrayed the leading U.S. social spending programs – Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid – as necessary supports for what the group described as a declining middle class.

Jan 10, 2013

Chamber of Commerce makes budget cuts top goal for 2013

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Chamber of Commerce on Thursday declared federal deficit reduction its top goal for 2013 and questioned whether Washington politicians were brave enough to take the steps necessary to rein in a fast-growing national debt.

“Do we have leaders with the courage to put the country first – ahead of their own careers, politics, ideologies and egos?” asked Thomas Donohue, president of the country’s largest business group.

Jan 10, 2013

U.S. could save $2 trillion on health costs – study

WASHINGTON, Jan 10 (Reuters) – The United States could save
$2 trillion in healthcare spending over the next decade, if the
U.S. government used its influence in the public and private
sectors to nudge soaring costs into line with economic growth, a
study released on Thursday said.

Compiled by the nonpartisan Commonwealth Fund, the study
recommends holding the $2.8 trillion U.S. healthcare system to
an annual spending target by having Medicare, Medicaid, other
government programs and private insurers encourage providers to
accelerate adoption of more cost-effective care.

Jan 7, 2013

US health cost growth slowed in 2011 but with signs of pickup

WASHINGTON, Jan 7 (Reuters) – U.S. healthcare spending rose
at a historically low rate of 3.9 percent for the third
consecutive year in 2011, but showed underlying signs of
acceleration as the economy recovered from recession, the Obama
administration said on Monday.

The report, released by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and
Medicaid Services and published in the journal Health Affairs,
said the sprawling national healthcare system totaled $2.7
trillion, or $8,680 per person. It accounted for 17.9 percent of
gross domestic product, a level that has been steady since 2009.

Jan 6, 2013

Analysis: Obama may turn Medicare reform into wider health debate

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama could seek common ground with Republicans in the looming battle over Medicare spending by broadening the debate over entitlement reform to encompass the spiraling healthcare costs that confront a wide range of Americans.

In recent public remarks the president has identified the U.S. healthcare system’s sky-high price tag – by far the highest in the world – as a driving force for Medicare reform.

Jan 6, 2013

Obama may turn Medicare reform into wider health debate

WASHINGTON, Jan 6 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama could
seek common ground with Republicans in the looming battle over
Medicare spending by broadening the debate over entitlement
reform to encompass the spiraling healthcare costs that confront
a wide range of Americans.

In recent public remarks the president has identified the
U.S. healthcare system’s sky-high price tag – by far the highest
in the world – as a driving force for Medicare reform.

Dec 19, 2012

U.S. FDA chief urges action on drug compounding safety

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top U.S. drug regulator on Wednesday urged state officials to help close regulatory loopholes involving the safety of compounded drugs, such as the tainted steroid injections at the center of a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak.

At a day-long meeting with officials from all 50 states, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg called for new regulations to head off future public health disasters.

Dec 14, 2012

US faces task of running dozens of health exchanges

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Fourteen U.S. states and the District of Columbia so far have told the federal government they plan to operate healthcare exchanges under President Barack Obama’s reform law, leaving Washington with the daunting task of creating online marketplaces for at least two-thirds of the country.

On the eve of a federal deadline for states to say whether they will run their own exchanges, a top U.S. healthcare policy official told lawmakers that the exchanges will start enrolling eligible families starting on October 1, 2013.

Dec 13, 2012

Only 15 U.S. states opt to run own health exchanges

WASHINGTON, Dec 13 (Reuters) – Only 15 U.S. states have told
the federal government they plan to operate health insurance
exchanges under President Barack Obama’s reform law, leaving
Washington with the daunting task of creating online
marketplaces for two-thirds of the country.

On the eve of a federal deadline for states to say whether
they will run their own exchanges, a top U.S. healthcare policy
official told lawmakers that the exchanges will start enrolling
eligible families starting on Oct. 1, 2013.

Dec 13, 2012

Fifteen states opt to run own health exchanges: official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Only 15 U.S. states plan to operate health insurance exchanges under President Barack Obama’s reform law, leaving Washington with the daunting prospect of creating and operating the new online marketplaces in at least two-thirds of the country.

On the eve of a federal deadline for states to say whether they will run their own exchanges, 11 other states have informed the administration that it should plan to be heavily involved in setting up private health insurance markets within their borders, said Gary Cohen, director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, on Thursday.

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      "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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