Healthcare News February 1, 2012

  • OVERNIGHT HEALTH: CLASS repeal vote marks open season on health law

    House Republicans take a giant whack at President Obama’s healthcare reform law on Wednesday with their vote to repeal the long-term-care CLASS Act.

    The vote aims to hurt Democrats, who will have to explain why they continue to support a program that the Obama administration itself has said is unworkable. The repeal bill is expected to sail through the House but founder in the Senate; a high-ranking Senate Republican acknowledged as much on Tuesday.

    If further proof were needed that the GOP will continue to make the healthcare law a key plank of its 2012 election strategy, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) previewed the CLASS repeal vote with a recap of House actions since the GOP took over last year, including: 

    • Repealing the law;

    • Defunding the law through the House-passed budget;

    • Repealing the law’s so-called 1099 tax reporting mandate, which Obama signed into law;

    • Preventing the IRS from hiring 16,500 new agents to implement the law’s new fees and mandates, including the requirement that everyone have insurance; and

    • Holding some three dozen hearings on the law since 2011.

    Skyrocketing spending: The Congressional Budget Office painted a bleak picture in its projections of healthcare spending Tuesday: spending on government programs will double in the next 10 years. Medicare spending alone will reach $1 trillion, driven by the flood of retiring baby boomers. And as a result, the Medicare trust fund will be completely out of money in 2022.

  • Top cancer foundation decides to cut ties with Planned Parenthood

    Planned Parenthood blamed the political controversy over abortion rights for the Susan G. Komen Foundation breaking ties.

  • Thune: CLASS repeal dead on arrival in the Senate

    Legislation to repeal the healthcare law’s long-term-care program isn’t going anywhere in the Senate, a top Republican acknowledged Tuesday.

    House Republicans are expected to easily repeal the CLASS Act on Wednesday. But Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, told reporters the bill won’t get the 60 votes it needs to pass in the Senate — if Democrats allow it to come up for a vote at all.

  • DNC hits Romney on Medicare

    Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said it was “patently dishonest” of Mitt Romney to tell seniors he’d preserve the entitlement program.

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