WASHINGTON, Aug 26 (Reuters) – Three firms involved in the
troubled Obamacare website HealthCare.gov have seen their
contract values exceed initial estimates by more than a
quarter-billion dollars, including the lead IT contractor at the
time of the site’s botched rollout, government data shows.
A report released on Tuesday by the U.S. Department of the
Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General
(OIG) estimates the original value of 60 information technology
(IT) contracts related to the Obamacare federal marketplace at
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration on Tuesday named the head of Connecticut’s state health exchange to oversee the federal marketplace that provides subsidized private health insurance to consumers in 36 states under Obamacare.
In a move that administration officials billed as an effort to bring new accountability to the federal operation, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced that Kevin Counihan would oversee federal operations, as well as health insurance regulation, in the new post of marketplace chief executive officer.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republicans on Sunday called for more aggressive U.S. action to defeat Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq, accusing President Barack Obama of policies that have failed to thwart potential new threats on U.S. soil.
Representative Mike Rogers, Republican chairman of the House of Representative Intelligence Committee, urged the administration to work with Arab partners on robust steps to disrupt the operations of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). He said the group is drawing support from Europeans and Americans who could travel undetected to Western countries to carry out attacks.
WASHINGTON/NEW YORK, Aug 7 (Reuters) – The Obama
administration is forming a special Ebola working group to
consider setting policy for the potential use of experimental
drugs to help the hundreds infected by the deadly disease in
West Africa, U.S. officials said on Thursday.
The group is being formed under Dr. Nicole Lurie, Assistant
Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the Department of
Health and Human Services, an administration official said.
WASHINGTON, Aug 1 (Reuters) – U.S. laboratory inspectors
charged with protecting the public from the release of deadly
pathogens were repeatedly criticized by a federal watchdog for
overlooking biosafety lapses long before this year’s anthrax
scare at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Newly released federal documents show that oversight gaps at
the CDC Division of Select Agents and Toxins (DSAT) may have
contributed to biosafety lapses at six laboratories handling
pathogens including smallpox, influenza and monkeypox. As a
result, the inspectors may have put public safety at risk.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. consumers who purchase private health coverage through the federal Obamacare website HealthCare.gov are likely to find only modestly higher premiums but may still have technical problems signing up, a top health official said on Thursday.
“It won’t be perfect,” Andrew Slavitt, a newly appointed principal deputy administrator at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), told lawmakers at hearing before a House of Representatives oversight committee.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Ten months after the botched rollout of HealthCare.gov, Obamacare’s federal health insurance exchange is still dogged by cost overruns and technology delays that could hamper enrollment when it resumes in November, a U.S. watchdog said.
The total cost of HealthCare.gov and its supporting systems hit $840 million in March, according to a forthcoming report by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO). Excerpts of the report were released on Wednesday by a U.S. House of Representatives oversight committee.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Slower growth in U.S. healthcare spending and expected savings from Obamacare are shoring up the funding outlook for the federal Medicare program that covers the hospital bills of the elderly, trustees of the program said on Monday.
The program’s trust fund for hospital care will run out of money in 2030, four years later than previously estimated, the trustees said in a report. When the fund runs dry, Washington would only be able to partially cover its obligations.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The director of a government bioterror lab behind the potential exposure of workers to live anthrax has resigned, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday.
Michael Farrell, head of the CDC’s Bioterror Rapid Response and Advanced Technology Laboratory (BRRAT) in Atlanta, had been reassigned from his position last month after the agency disclosed the safety breaches. He submitted his resignation on Tuesday, the CDC said.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two U.S. judicial panels on Tuesday injected new uncertainty into the future of President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, with conflicting rulings over whether the federal government can subsidize health insurance for millions of Americans.
The appeals court rulings, handed down by three-judge panels in Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Virginia, augured a possible rematch before the U.S. Supreme Court, which in June 2012 narrowly upheld the Democratic president’s 2010 healthcare overhaul.