Healthcare News April 4, 2012

  • Texas judge confronts Obama administration over ‘judicial restraint’ statement

    A federal judge in Texas is demanding that the Department of Justice clarify whether President Obama’s dig about “judicial restraint” means the administration thinks the Judicial Branch has no right to overturn unconstitutional laws.

    Fifth Circuit Judge Jerry Edwin Smith, a Reagan appointee, is part of a three-judge panel hearing a lawsuit challenging the law’s restriction on physician-owned hospitals. During oral arguments Tuesday, Smith demanded that Attorney General Eric Holder send him a three-page, single-spaced letter by noon Thursday explaining what Obama meant when he said Monday that ruling against his health law would be an “unprecedented” act of judicial activism.

    “What he said was, ‘I want to hear from the attorney general what he believes to be the power of a federal judge to consider federal laws,’ ” a lawyer involved in the case told The Hill. “I’m reading between the lines that that was a reaction to the press statements yesterday by the president.”

  • Obama administration awards $72 million for childhood support under health law

    The Obama administration awarded $72 million to 10 states on Tuesday to establish or expand home visitation programs for pregnant women, parents, caregivers and children.

    The grants were awarded under the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program created by President Obama’s healthcare reform law.

    “Home visits from an experienced counselor can help provide skills and links to important services and early childhood education,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in announcing the grants.

  • Obama says he will ‘respect’ Supreme Court’s ruling on his healthcare law

    Republicans accused him of “threatening” the high court on Monday, the president reiterated that it has “the final say.”

  • Obama sticks with charge that Ryan plan would ‘end Medicare’

    President Obama made clear Tuesday that he’s not about to soften his criticism of Republicans’ Medicare proposals, charging again that the GOP plan would “end Medicare as we know it.”

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