Healthcare News December 22, 2012

  • Petition against Obama birth control rules reaches the Supreme Court

    At issue is the health law’s requirement that employers
    cover birth control in their health plans
    without copays.

  • Baucus, Hatch call for greater oversight of Medicaid payments

    Leaders of the Senate Finance Committee are calling for greater oversight of supplemental payments in Medicaid after a report found gaps in the government’s information on who is paid and why.

    Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and ranking member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) released the report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on Friday and called for more transparency.

    “I am committed to additional oversight and accountability measures to help fulfill that promise and will continue to drive down costs and strengthen Medicaid,” Baucus said in a statement. 

  • We must improve programs to help mentally ill

    As the father of an eight-year-old son and the grandfather to six children under the age of 10, I am horrified by the incredible act of violence that killed 20 young students and the teachers who fought to protect them last week in Newtown, Conn.

    In the wake of this tragedy, there’s no doubt that we need a serious and thoughtful national discussion about preventing this kind of senseless violence and protecting our children in their schools. I believe that should include a discussion about finding ways to spend federal dollars more wisely when it comes to treating and identifying people who are mentally ill. It should also include a conversation about ways that we can intervene before someone who is mentally ill does something that tragically impacts their lives and the lives of others.

  • Lawmakers praise passage of Medicare ID-theft bill

    Reps. Sam Johnson (R-Texas) and Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) on Friday cheered the passage of their bill to redesign the Medicare identity card so as not to display seniors’ Social Security numbers.

    The Medicare Identity Theft Prevention Act passed Thursday on a voice vote. The bill orders “cost-effective procedures” at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to ensure that Social Security numbers are not used on the Medicare card, which seniors are asked to carry at all times.

    “This commonsense bill is a vital step in protecting our nation’s seniors from identity theft,” said Johnson, who leads the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security. 

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