Healthcare News April 26, 2013

  • OVERNIGHT HEALTH: Dems denounce ObamaCare ‘exemption’

    Democrats moved quickly on Thursday to tamp down a report that they’re seeking to “exempt” themselves from a key piece of President Obama’s healthcare law. Democratic leaders in both the House and Senate said they do not want to change a provision that requires lawmakers and their staffs to buy insurance through newly created insurance exchanges.

    “There are not now, have never been, nor will there ever be any discussions about exempting members of Congress or Congressional staff from Affordable Care Act provisions that apply to any employees of any other public or private employer offering health care,” a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said.

  • Pelosi: Healthcare reform was worth any Dem defeats

    Passage of healthcare reform was worth any defeat the Democrats might have suffered at the polls as a result, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday.

  • GOP chairman promises drug-tracking law by August

    A powerful House chairman vowed Thursday to put legislation on President Obama’s desk that would give regulators more power to track prescription drugs.

    “I commit today that I will do all that I can to make it happen,” Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said during a hearing.

    Lawmakers on Thursday examined a draft bill from Reps. Bob Latta (R-Ohio) and Jim Matheson (D-Utah) that attempts to address loopholes in the drug supply system and give regulators tools to close them. However, while testing the waters for an electronic tracking system, the draft bill falls short of implementing one.

  • Dem bill would loosen family leave rules

    A new bill from Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) would allow workers to take unpaid leave when same-sex partners, grandparents and other family members face illness.

    The legislation loosens rules established by the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act, which allows unpaid leave when workers are caring for a new baby, spouse, child or parent. Other family members are excluded, even when facing serious health conditions. 

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