Healthcare News February 14, 2013

  • OVERNIGHT HEALTH: Walker rejects Medicaid expansion

    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is the latest Republican to buck the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion. Walker said Wednesday that he won’t take part in the expansion, but he has a new plan to cover his state’s low-income uninsured population.

    Walker fell in line with most of his GOP colleagues, who have rejected the Medicaid expansion out of staunch opposition to the healthcare law and concern that federal funding won’t come through as promised.

    Walker did lay out an alternative plan for covering his state’s uninsured, which relies heavily on subsidized coverage through the healthcare law’s exchanges — a marketplace he has refused to set up on his own, deferring instead to the federal government.

    Healthwatch has the story.

    Happy Valentine’s Day: There are nearly 20 million new sexually transmitted diseases in the U.S. every year, according to data released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC said STD treatments cost nearly $16 billion per year, and there are more than 110 total diseases — including new infections and long-standing ones — in the country. Half of all new STD cases are in people ages 15 to 24.

  • Scott Walker rejects Medicaid expansion

    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) said Wednesday he won’t participate in the Medicaid expansion under President Obama’s healthcare law.

    Walker stuck to the GOP party line, despite defections from a handful of other prominent Republican governors.

  • Report: Fake drugs pose threat to US

    The United States is not immune from the risks associated from substandard and knock-off medications, according to a new report by the Institute of Medicine.

    While the risks are exponentially greater in developing countries, the report warns federal regulators that counterfeit drugs are a deadly reality in America as well. In the four months from September 2012 to January 2013, “negligent production” by a Massachusetts pharmacy sickened 600 people and killed 44, according to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. 

  • Dems: Postal schedule must protect Rx deliveries

    Lawmakers urged the U.S. Postal Service Wednesday not to enact reforms that would prolong the delivery of mail-order prescriptions.

    A group of 88 House members, mostly Democrats, expressed concerns that some patients might suffer under the U.S. Postmaster General’s plan to impose a five-day delivery schedule for letters. 

    “Whether it is a homebound senior that cannot walk or drive to the pharmacy, or a veteran who lives in a rural area with limited access to the prescription drugs they need, all of these home-delivery beneficiaries cannot afford to go without their medications for days,” lawmakers wrote in a letter to Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe.

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