Healthcare News April 30, 2013

  • Healthcare experts propose $1 trillion in savings

    A bevy of healthcare experts released recommendations Monday for cost-conscious reforms to Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance they said could save $1 trillion over two decades.

    In a Brookings Institution study, the experts urge Washington to embrace small, consensus-driven policy moves to lower healthcare costs rather than wait for a major deficit-reduction deal.

    “The time to act on these proposals is now,” study authors wrote. “It is time to put a sharp and direct focus on achieving both better health and cost savings.” 

  • Bipartisan group calls for broader religious exemptions in ObamaCare

    House Republicans and Democrats have joined together to re-introduce a bill that would expand the religious conscience exemptions under ObamaCare.

    Under the Equitable Access to Care and Health (EACH) Act, individuals would have the option of being exempted from the Affordable Healthcare Act’s mandate to buy health insurance. People could avoid the mandate by filing an affidavit as part of their tax return saying their religious beliefs keep them from buying insurance that meets federal standards.

  • Sebelius gets new chief of staff

    Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is getting a new chief of staff, according to a note sent to HHS employees Monday.

    Andrea Palm will assume the role after the departure of Sally Howard, who is leaving the job for a senior position at the Food and Drug Administration.

    Palm joined the health department in the early days of the Obama administration, working in its legislative office. She has also advised the White House Domestic Policy Council and is currently a counselor to Sebelius. 

  • Pediatricians to push for gun control on Capitol Hill

    Gun violence will be back on the agenda Tuesday as members of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) climb Capitol Hill to push for more robust gun control measures.

    About 110 pediatricians from 40 states will meet with congressional staff during the fly-in, according to the AAP.

    The group will advocate for stronger background checks, an assault weapons ban, and federal research on gun violence prevention. 

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