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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.

Dec 13, 2012

Fifteen U.S. states opt to run own health exchanges -official

WASHINGTON, Dec 13 (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.

Dec 7, 2012

FDA panel opposes recommending painkiller over safety

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel of outside experts voted against recommending Zogenix Inc’s Zohydro painkiller for FDA approval on Friday, citing concerns about the danger of addiction posed by the drug class known as opioids.

But FDA officials said the regulatory agency could still approve the drug for sale in the United States by imposing restrictions on its sale to protect public safety.

Dec 5, 2012

Medicare emerging as prime target in U.S. ‘fiscal cliff’ talks

WASHINGTON, Dec 5 (Reuters) – With rival Democratic and
Republican deficit plans increasingly focused on Medicare,
experts say the two sides could be edging toward common ground
on important changes to the popular health insurance program for
seniors and the disabled.

None of the changes are assured and any specific decisions
would come only after resolution of the “fiscal cliff,” the
combination of tax hikes and spending cuts that’s driving the
discussion.

Dec 5, 2012

U.S. House Democrats introduce new meningitis legislation

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two Democratic lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced legislation on Wednesday aimed at bolstering federal oversight of compounded drugs like the tainted steroid injections blamed for a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak.

But the legislation is not likely to move forward in the Republican-controlled chamber. In fact, aides from both parties said neither the House nor the Democratic-led Senate is expected to vote on meningitis legislation this year, given the little time remaining and the overarching focus on so-called “fiscal cliff” deficit-reduction talks.

Nov 27, 2012

Senior Democrat Durbin urges talks on Medicare

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.

Nov 26, 2012

Medicaid expansion poses “modest” state costs: study

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.

    • 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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