Parsing Obama's Budget
IT'S BUDGET DAY: The White House is set to release its annual budget proposal today, offering a fresh look at both the real world of health care spending and an outline of what the administration might be willing to consider on entitlement cuts. Don't expect a lot -- we already know some entitlement cuts have been taken off the table, and the White House's proposals for Medicare and Medicaid have always been heavily focused on cuts to providers, not the kind of structural programmatic changes supported by Republicans like Paul Ryan.
Top Health Care News
BUDGET: CRACKDOWN PROPOSED TO PREVENT ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS FROM OBTAINING MEDICARE: In President Obama's 2015 budget, the administration proposes removing illegal immigrants from the Medicaid rolls and explicitly requires citizenship or lawful presence in the United States as a condition of getting Medicare. (Robert Pear, New York Times)
EXTENSION OF 'KEEP YOUR PLAN' FIX EXPECTED: Sources say the administration could announce new guidance as early as this week that would allow insurers to temporarily continue offering non ACA-compliant plans, to avoid the wave of plan cancellations that would otherwise be set to come right before midterm elections. (Elise Viebeck, The Hill)
FIFTH VOTE TO RENEW ARKANSAS MEDICAID EXPANSION LIKELY TODAY: "[House Speaker Davy] Carter said two possibilities if the legislation fails before the House again include recessing the session, or adjourning and leaving the matter to be addressed in a special session. He said, however, he didn't expect either scenario...Carter and other supporters of the private option have been talking with a handful of opponents about a potential compromise where they would vote for the program in exchange for the state agreeing to seek federal approval for a limited enrollment period for the program. Carter said no agreement had been reached but he was still talking with several lawmakers. (Andrew DeMillo, Associated Press)
AVALERE ANALYSIS FINDS 2.4 TO 3.5 NEW MEDICAID ENROLLEES AS RESULT OF ACA: The estimate includes between 1.3 and 1.7 million who newly enrolled in January. (Jenna Stento, Avalere Health)
TOUGH ROAD FOR STATES SEEKING CUSTOMIZED MEDICAID EXPANSION: Of the states currently considering expansion, New Hampshire may be the only one that succeeds in expanding coverage this year. (Christine Vestal, Stateline)
OBAMA TO MAKE ACA ENROLLMENT PUSH ON SPANISH MEDIA: With less than a month left of open enrollment period, the president will make a pitch to Hispanics to enroll in coverage in a televised town hall Thursday, hosted by the three largest Spanish-language media outlets in the U.S.: Telemundo, Univision, and La Opinion- impreMedia. (Kyle Cheney, Politico)
OBAMACARE PLAN CANCELLATION ESTIMATES FROM DEC. 2013: "The findings from HRMS show that nearly one in five (18.6 percent) of those with nongroup health insurance at the time of the survey report the plan they had in 2013 will no longer be offered to them because it did not meet new coverage requirements...Many whose non-group policy was cancelled appear to be eligible for Marketplace subsidies or Medicaid." (Lisa Clemans-Cope and Nathaniel Anderson, Health Affairs Blog)
OBAMACARE EFFECTS ACCOUNT FOR MOST OF INCOME, SPENDING INCREASES: The Affordable Care Act can be credited with about three-quarters of January's overall rise in Americans' incomes. (Jeffrey Sparshott, Wall Street Journal)
REPORT: MEDICAL STUDIES ENDANGER WOMEN'S HEALTH BY IGNORING GENDER DIFFERENCES: "More often, studies 'control' for sex differences instead of investigating them, but this approach is inadequate when the mechanisms underlying health may operate differently in men and women," the authors of the report wrote. (Caroline Chen, Bloomberg News)
THE RACIAL GAP IN BREAST CANCER SURVIVAL: An analysis of breast cancer mortality trends in 41 of the largest cities in the United States shows that the chance of surviving breast cancer correlates strongly with the color of a woman's skin. Black women with breast cancer — whether they hail from Phoenix or Denver, Boston or Wichita, Kan. — are on average about 40 percent more likely to die of the disease than white women with breast cancer. (Tara Parker-Pope, New York Times)
PRESIDENT'S BUDGET RELEASED: Health policy wonks will be keenly looking at the HHS budget and how it deals with the Medicare program. The President is scheduled to speak on his proposed budget at 11:30 a.m., with a press conference with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on the health portion of the budget slated for 2 p.m.
HOUSE HEARING ON MANAGING MEDICARE: The House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee gathers at 10 a.m. in 2123 Rayburn to examine the Medicare program, and how to protect seniors' benefits. Representatives from HHS and the GAO are scheduled to testify.
FEDERATION OF AMERICAN HOSPITALS ANNUAL PUBLIC POLICY CONFERENCE: Hospital officials will join with members of Congress and CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner to discuss the year ahead in health policy.