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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.

Feb 5, 2013

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

WASHINGTON, Feb 5 (Reuters) – U.S. 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.

Feb 1, 2013

Obama offers compromise on birth control health coverage

WASHINGTON, Feb 1 (Reuters) – The Obama administration on
Friday sought to settle a dispute with some religious leaders
over the inclusion of contraceptives in employees’ health
insurance plans by proposing to separate birth control from
other benefits.

The approach offers religious employers a way to avoid
paying for women’s contraceptives through employer-provided
health insurance, while still guaranteeing their workers access
to birth control coverage with no out-of-pocket costs as called
for in President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law.

Jan 31, 2013

Analysis: Medicare premium support idea rising from ashes?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Just months after President Barack Obama’s re-election ended Republican hopes of controlling U.S. healthcare policy, one of the most controversial Republican proposals for Medicare is showing signs of rising from the political ashes.

Premium support, a policy idea that would greatly expand the role of private insurers in providing Medicare coverage for hospital and doctor services, was considered dead soon after Republican Mitt Romney’s November loss to Obama, when polls showed registered voters rejecting it by 2-to-1 margins.

Jan 31, 2013

Medicare premium support idea rising from ashes?

WASHINGTON, Jan 31 (Reuters) – Just months after President
Barack Obama’s re-election ended Republican hopes of controlling
U.S. healthcare policy, one of the most controversial Republican
proposals for Medicare is showing signs of rising from the
political ashes.

Premium support, a policy idea that would greatly expand the
role of private insurers in providing Medicare coverage for
hospital and doctor services, was considered dead soon after
Republican Mitt Romney’s November loss to Obama, when polls
showed registered voters rejecting it by 2-to-1 margins.

Jan 30, 2013

US expects big Medicare savings from competitive bid program

WASHINGTON, Jan 30 (Reuters) – Medicare and its
beneficiaries in 100 metropolitan areas will pay less for
durable equipment beginning July 1.

The new prices, set by competitive bidding, are expected to
save 45 percent on average, on products including walkers,
wheelchairs, oxygen equipment, hospital beds and prosthetics.
Diabetic testing supplies will be available at savings of 72
percent through a separate national mail-order program.

Jan 24, 2013

Public wants deficit reduction but not programs cuts: polling data

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Most Americans want President Barack Obama and Congress to reduce the federal deficit without cutting Medicare, Social Security and education, according to polling data released Thursday.

A joint survey by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Harvard School of Public Health and the Kaiser Family Foundation also showed majorities support President Barack Obama’s plan to expand Medicaid and provide subsidized private health insurance to working families through new online state exchanges.

    • 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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