House Set To Advance Latest Anti-Obamacare Bill
TODAY IN ONE PARAGRAPH: The House Rules Committee is scheduled to take up a bill on data security under Obamacare's exchanges, likely clearing the way for a floor vote later this week. Meanwhile, the White House has formally submitted Sen. Max Baucus' nomination for ambassador to China, so Sen. Ron Wyden -- a bona fide health care wonk who has worked with Paul Ryan on a Medicare plan -- will likely be taking over the powerful Finance Committee relatively soon. Wyden will take over the panel as work continues on a permanent "doc fix."
Top Health Care News
50 YEARS AFTER LANDMARK WARNING, 8 MILLION FEWER SMOKING DEATHS. The Surgeon General's report published on smoking and health in 1964 has changed lifestyles in America for the better. (Richard Knox, National Public Radio)
PREGNANT, AND FORCED TO STAY ON LIFE SUPPORT. At 33, Marlise Munoz was brain-dead after collapsing on her kitchen floor in November from what appeared to be a blood clot in her lungs. But Texas is one of more than two dozen states that prohibit, with varying degrees of strictness, medical officials from cutting off life support to a pregnant patient. (Manny Fernandez and Eric Eckholm, New York Times)
SMALL BUSINESSES WEIGH SENDING SICK WORKERS TO THE OBAMACARE EXCHANGES. Can an employer pay chronically ill workers to leave the company health plan and get insurance somewhere else? That's a question some business owners are asking, now that no one can be turned away from individual health plans under Obamacare. (Karen Klein, Bloomberg Businessweek)
GOP SENATORS ATTEMPT TO TIE ACA EXEMPTIONS TO UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE EXTENSIONS. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., proposed paying for an extension of unemployment benefits by delaying the individual mandate for one year, while Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said he will propose an amendment to replace the Senate plan with new tax breaks and an ACA exemption. (Tara Culp-Ressler, Think Progress and Pete Kasperowicz, The Hill)
REPORT FINDS MORE FLAWS IN DIGITIZING PATIENT FILES. Although the federal government is spending more than $22 billion to encourage hospitals and doctors to adopt electronic health records, it has failed to put safeguards in place to prevent the technology from being used for inflating costs and overbilling, according to a new report by a federal oversight agency. (Reed Abelson and Julie Creswell, New York Times)
HEALTH LAW INSPIRES HOPE BUT ALSO WORRY AMONG THOSE WITH HIV. Patients can't be discriminated against for pre-existing conditions, but having insurance doesn't necessarily mean high quality HIV treatment. (Anna Gorman and Ankita Rao, Kaiser Health News)
OBAMACARE MEDICAID SPLIT CREATES TWO AMERICAS FOR THE POOR. Sign-ups for the program would have been higher if half of states didn't opt-out of expansion. (Alex Nussbaum, Alison Vekshin and Gigi Douban, Bloomberg News)
TENNCARE SWITCHES TO WEB-ONLY SIGN UPS. Until state contractors finish a new TennCare application website, Tennesseans can apply for Medicaid only through HealthCare.gov. (Kate Harrison, Times Free Press)
MEDITATION CAN HELP MANAGE ANXIETY, DEPRESSION AND PAIN. A study finds that mindfulness meditation has beneficial health effects. (Allison Aubery, National Public Radio)
FEVER RISK RISES WHEN VACCINES GIVEN TOGETHER. The risk of fever was almost three times higher when the flu and pneumococcal vaccines were given together, according to new research. (Michael Smith, MedPage Today)
THINK AMERICA HAS THE WORLD'S BEST HEALTH CARE SYSTEM? You won't after seeing this chart. (Sarah Kliff, Washington Post)
TRACKING MARKETPLACE AND MEDICAID/CHIP ENROLLMENT STATE BY STATE. Check out this map which compiles official administration data and analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation. (Rachel Dolan and Leo Quigley, State Reforum)
50TH ANNIVERSARY OF SURGEON GENERAL SMOKING REPORT. At 10 a.m., public health and medical organizations will hold a press conference calling for higher tobacco taxes and a national commitment to be tobacco free.
HOUSE RULES CONSIDERS OBAMACARE DATA SECURITY BILL. A 3 p.m. committee meeting to review the Health Exchange Security and Transparency Act of 2014.