Healthcare News January 16, 2013

  • OVERNIGHT HEALTH: Will mental health be part of gun recommendations?

    President Obama is set to hold a news conference Wednesday to unveil a set of proposals to reduce gun violence. Press secretary Jay Carney outlined the specific recommendations on gun control, but advocates have also pushed hard for a mental-health component — perhaps in the form of long-awaited rules on mental health parity.

    Advocates want to see increased funding for mental-health programs, including programs administered through Medicaid. And Senate Democrats pushed the White House last week to implement mental-health parity legislation that passed in 2008 but has languished since.

    Obama’s press conference is scheduled for 11:45 a.m. The Hill has more.

  • McDermott lands top Dem spot on healthcare panel

    Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) snagged the top spot on a key healthcare subcommittee, House Democrats announced Tuesday.

    McDermott is now the top Democrat on the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health. The top spot opened up after former Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) lost his reelection bid in November, and McDermott’s selection was widely expected.

  • Schumer calls on VA to investigate exposure to fatal viruses through insulin pens

    Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called on the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) to investigate a report that more than 700 VA patients were exposed to a fatal virus.

    Some patients at the Buffalo VA Medical Center were potentially exposed to HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C because insulin pens were improperly used on multiple patients.

  • House GOP leaders will play smaller part in ‘March for Life’

    Neither John Boehner nor Eric Cantor will take the podium at this year’s “March for Life,” a major anti-abortion-rights protest marking the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

    The Republican Speaker and House Majority Leader both addressed the crowds in person at least year’s event.

    This time, Boehner (Ohio) will deliver a pre-recorded video address, while there are no plans for Cantor (Va.) to speak, either in person or via video link, according to a list of participating lawmakers. 

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