GOP Tees Up 2 Obamacare Bills
TODAY IN ONE PARAGRAPH: The House Ways and Means Committee is set to mark up two Obamacare-related bills today, both of which would weaken the law's employer mandate. One would change the definition of a full-time employee, and the other would carve out volunteer firefighters from the requirement that employers offer health care benefits. Across the Capitol, the Senate health committee meets to consider Vivek Murthy's nomination for solicitor general.
Top Health Care News
TOP DEMS GRAPPLE FOR WAXMAN'S POST. Reps Frank Pallone and Anna Eshoo will both be making a run to fill retiring California Democrat Henry Waxman's shoes in the House Energy and Commerce Committee. (Brendan Sasso, National Journal)
BAD NEWS FOR OBAMA'S ANTIOBESITY EFFORT. A new study suggests that giving consumers greater access to healthy foods doesn't change eating habits. (Clara Ritger, National Journal)
HHS SAYS LABS MUST GIVE PATIENTS ACCESS TO TEST RESULTS. New federal rule seeks to give patients more control of their own health. (Melinda Beck, Wall Street Journal)
EXPERTS: MOVING NEW MEDICAID PATIENTS OUT OF THE ER WILL TAKE TIME. People tend to use health care more after they get insurance, and those without a traditional doctor-patient relationship may stick with what's familiar. (Karen Springen, Chicago Tribune)
ACA EXTENDS COVERAGE TO FORMER FOSTER CHILDREN. "A little-known provision of federal health law now extends Medicaid coverage to former foster youths until they turn 26, regardless of where they live or how much they earn. The only requirements: They must have been in foster care when they turned 18 and have previously received Medicaid, the state-run insurance plan for the poor known as Medi-Cal in California." (Anna Gorman, Kaiser Health News/Los Angeles Daily News)
SOTU POLL SHOWS WHY THE WHITE HOUSE IS FEELING CONFIDENT ABOUT HEALTH CARE AGAIN. Dial testing from the president's speech may also help explain why some Republicans have dropped their "repeal at all costs" rhetoric. (Evan McMorris-Santoro, BuzzFeed)
IF THE LATEST OBAMACARE LAWSUIT SUCCEEDS, OBAMACARE IS IN BIG TROUBLE. Halbig v. Sebelius challenges whether the federal government can provide subsidies in the federally run exchanges. (Harold Pollack, Washington Post)
REPUBLICANS LOOK TO THE SHELVES ON OBAMACARE ALTERNATIVE. Former Rep. John Shadegg, who left office shortly after Obamacare was passed, says his ideas are being dusted off. (Billy House, National Journal)
MASSACHUSETTS REPUBLICANS POINT TO STATE'S OBAMACARE PROBLEMS IN 2014 CAMPAIGNS. The state's transition from its own health reform law to federal reform — from Romneycare to Obamacare — has been a mess. (Kyle Cheney, Politico)
THE 10 MOST EXPENSIVE INSURANCE MARKETS IN THE U.S. Colorado Mountain Resort Region; southwest Georgia; rural Nevada; far western Wisconsin; southern Georgia; most of Wyoming; southeast Mississippi; Vermont; Fairfield, Connecticut; Alaska. (Jordan Rao, Kaiser Health News)
ETHICS QUESTIONS ARISE AS GENETIC TESTING OF EMBRYOS INCREASES. When are prospective parents justified in discarding embryos? (Gina Kolata, New York Times)
HOW AMERICAN FOOD COMPANIES GO GMO-FREE IN A GMO-WORLD. Some U.S. farmers have been growing non-genetically modified grain for their Japanese customers for years. (Dan Charles, National Public Radio)
Science and Research
DRUG COMPANIES JOIN NIH IN STUDY OF ALZHEIMER'S, DIABETES, RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS, LUPUS. Ten drug companies form pact with NIH to find paths to new medicines. (Monica Langley and Jonathan Rockoff, Wall Street Journal)
STUDY FINDS CHANGES IN BRAINS OF HOCKEY PLAYERS WHO HAD CONCUSSIONS. Brain scans found microscopic white matter and inflammatory changes in those who had clinically diagnosed concussions. (Jeff Klein, New York Times)
SENATE TO CONSIDER NOMINATION OF VIVEK MURTHY TO BE NEXT U.S. SURGEON GENERAL. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will meet at 10:30 a.m. to discuss Murthy's appointment. The co-founder and president of pro-Obamacare Doctors for America would be the first Indian-American surgeon general.
HOUSE OVERSIGHT SUBCOMMITTEE HOLDS MARIJUANA HEARING. The Government Operations Subcommittee will meet at 1:30 p.m. in 2154 Rayburn to examine the increased use of marijuana in states that have legalized the drug for medicinal or recreational purposes.