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Health Care Edge

GOP Keeps Its Focus Squarely On Obamacare - Health Care Edge

January 10, 2014

GOP Keeps Its Focus Squarely On Obamacare

By Sam Baker, Sophie Novack and Clara Ritger

TODAY IN ONE PARAGRAPH: The House is scheduled to vote today on its latest anti-Obamacare bill, this time targeting concerns over the security of personal data collected through the law's insurance exchanges. The bill will almost certainly pass the House and die in the Senate, like they all do. For their part, Senate Republicans filed several anti-Obamacare amendments to a bill that would extend unemployment benefits. So there should be no doubt what Republicans want to focus on ahead of this year's midterm elections.

 

Top Health Care News

HOUSE ADVANCES TWO ACA OVERSIGHT BILLS, VOTES LIKELY FRIDAY. One would require weekly implementation updates, the second would require the government to inform consumers of all data breaches on HealthCare.gov. (Pete Kasperowicz, The Hill)

U.S. COMPOUNDING PHARMACIES START TO REGISTER WITH THE FDA. Following a deadly outbreak of fungal meningitis in Massachusetts and tighter regulations from the FDA, 11 pharmacies have chosen to comply. (Toni Clarke, Reuters)

MARYLAND'S PLAN TO UPEND HEALTH CARE SPENDING. They're embarking on an experiment to cap hospital dollars, set prices and save $330 million in federal spending. (Sarah Kliff, Washington Post)

Coverage

ACA COVERS BREAST CANCER PREVENTION MEDS. HHS issues guidance clarifying that certain risk-reducing medications are covered in most plans. (Sophie Novack, National Journal)

LOSING HEALTH INSURANCE FOR 2014. Jim Brumfield won't have health insurance in 2014 for the first time in more than two decades. (Tami Luhby, CNN Money)

DOORS TO TREATMENT OPENING FOR POOR ILLINOISANS STRUGGLING WITH MENTAL ILLNESS. As many as 120,000 residents with mental health issues living in Illinois will qualify for publicly funded health insurance for the first time. (Judith Graham, Chicago Tribune)

CAN A WISCONSIN SENATOR AND A SUPERSTAR LAWYER PREVENT MEMBERS OF CONGRESS FROM GAINING SUBSIDIZED HEALTH INSURANCE UNDER OBAMACARE? The provision isn't clear in the law. (Avik Roy, Forbes)

UNDERSTANDING NEW RULES THAT WIDEN MENTAL HEALTH COVERAGE. There are some gaps in the Affordable Care Act's mental health provisions that consumers should know about. (Ann Carrns, New York Times)

HOW OBAMACARE CAN LEARN FROM MASSACHUSETTS. Young people will probably sign up late and that's ok. (Jonathan Cohn, The New Republic)

Healthy Living

KRAFT HELPS CUT 6.4 TRILLION CALORIES IN OBAMA CHALLENGE. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation says the 16 companies who committed to remove 1 trillion calories from the U.S. market by 2012 and 1.5 trillion by 2015 have far exceeded their goal. (Caroline Chen, Bloomberg News)

LUNG CANCER RATES DECLINE FOR U.S. MEN, WOMEN: STUDY. Fifty years after the surgeon general's first-ever report warning of the dangers of smoking, the U.S. is seeing improvements in health. (David Beasley, Reuters)

Health Spending

HEALTH CARE'S BIGGEST PARADOX: SLOWING SPENDING, RISING JOBS. There's a number of explanations why, but the trend may not last. (Dan Diamond, Forbes)

CAN STATES TAKE OVER HEALTH CARE? A new report shows how states can lower health costs and deliver care better than the federal government. (Sophie Novack, National Journal)

STUDY: SUPPLEMENTAL PLANS RAISE MEDICARE COSTS 22 PERCENT. The "all-you-can-eat" model encourages consumers to seek potentially unnecessary procedures, some experts say. (Jay Hancock, Kaiser Health News)

REPUBLICANS WON'T STOP TALKING ABOUT ABORTION. Federal funding is already prohibited from going towards abortion services, but House Republicans want to also prevent it from going towards any plans that include abortion coverage. (Sophie Novack, National Journal)

Immigration

LIVING IN THE SHADOWS. A special series on immigration status and health, the collaboration of six news organizations. (Reporting on Health Collaborative)

Happening Today

HOUSE VOTES ON EXCHANGE SECURITY LEGISLATION. The House will meet to consider the "Exchange Information Disclosure Act," to be amended; and the "Health Exchange Security and Transparency Act of 2014" at 9 a.m.

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