- Paul Ryan: Republicans must stay strong on abortion to win elections
Ryan’s remarks to the Susan B. Anthony List gala were his most extended on abortion since the 2012 election cycle.
- FDA on hot seat over spinal meningitis outbreak
Lawmakers on the House oversight committee are looking into the ability of federal drug regulators to oversee compounding pharmacies.
- OVERNIGHT HEALTH: Sebelius heads to Capitol Hill
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will head to Capitol Hill on Friday to defend her department’s budget request — including $1.5 billion for exchanges that Congress is unlikely to provide.
Sebelius is slated to testify before the Ways and Means Committee. It’s the first time Sebelius has gone before lawmakers since acknowledging that some people will see their premiums rise because of the healthcare law — an admission that could provide fodder for Republican critics. She has also recently said the initial roll-out of the new law has been more difficult than she expected.
There’s plenty in the department’s budget request for lawmakers to ask Sebelius about. It seeks an additional $1.5 billion for the federal insurance exchange, and HHS officials have so far not answered when asked about the consequences of not receiving that money. The budget also proposes a handful of Medicare benefit cuts, such as charging wealthy seniors a higher premium.
- GOP lawmakers suggest Medicare reforms
Republicans on a prominent House committee proposed a series of Medicare reforms Thursday, including the much-discussed possibility of unifying the program’s deductibles for hospital and medical care.
Committee vice chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) described the policies as short-term moves that would significantly strengthen the program without cutting benefits.
“The current Medicare program structure is unsustainable and will threaten current beneficiaries’ health security if not addressed,” the lawmakers wrote in a memo.
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