Healthcare News April 18, 2013

  • OVERNIGHT HEALTH: Baucus fears ObamaCare ‘train wreck’

    Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) is not too confident about the implementation of ObamaCare. Baucus, who played an instrumental role in writing the healthcare law, said Wednesday he’s afraid it will turn into a “huge train wreck” as major pieces of the law are implemented next year. Baucus told Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that he’s worried about the public’s persistent misunderstandings about the law, and pressed her for details about how the administration will sell the public on new benefits.

    Republicans seized on Baucus’s comments. They’re hoping his role in crafting the healthcare law will hurt his reelection prospects next year, and problems with the implementation could make the GOP’s job easier.

  • Legislators endorse FDA action against OxyContin generics

    Two legislators who have opposed generic versions of the drug OxyContin are applauding a move by the Food And Drug Administration (FDA) to block a form of the painkiller that could be easier to abuse.

    Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) cheered the agency’s decision on Tuesday to prevent the production of an early version of the drug, know generically as oxycodone, that can be crushed or dissolved. Turning OxyContin into a powder makes it easier to inject or snort, which the agency claims is one way to abuse it.

    “With more than 16,000 Americans dying from opioid drug overdoses each year, [FDA] Commissioner [Margaret] Hamburg’s announcement is a significant step forward in the federal government’s effort to reduce opioid drug abuse and protect consumers,” the two said in a joint statement.

  • Republicans accuse broadcasters of Gosnell ‘cover-up’

    Republican lawmakers are attacking the major U.S. broadcasters for not devoting more airtime to the grisly trial of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell.

    More than 70 GOP House members accused ABC, CBS and NBC News of deliberately avoiding controversial stories about abortion in letters to the network presidents that were sent Wednesday.

    “We see no excuse for your failure to report these stories other than blatant media bias,” the lawmakers wrote. “There is nothing ‘politically incorrect’ about reporting the negative impacts of abortion on women and children.” 

  • Norton fires warning shot against impending DC abortion bill

    Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) vowed Wednesday to join with abortion-rights groups and fight a forthcoming GOP bill to ban most abortions in the District of Columbia after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

    “We will combat the insatiable Republican obsession with interfering with the rights of women in our city, as we have successfully done before,” Norton said in a statement.

    Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) told The Hill earlier this week that he would soon reintroduce the D.C. Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a measure that failed to pass the House last year under suspension of the rules. 

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