- Health plan advocates slam ‘cliff’ deal cuts
The lead advocacy group for nontraditional health insurance plans denounced new cuts to an Affordable Care Act program meant to encourage the burgeoning groups.
The cuts are part of the recent deal to avoid the worst effects of the “fiscal cliff.”
They hit a federal loan program designed to give nonprofit CO-OPs (consumer oriented and operated plans) a boost against traditional health insurance plans, with the ultimate goal of increasing competition and lowering costs.
- Isakson, Portman, Toomey to join Finance panel
Republican leaders in the Senate Thursday announced three new appointments to the chamber’s elite Finance Committee, which governs Medicare and Medicaid.
GOP Sens. Johnny Isakson (Ga.), Rob Portman (Ohio) and Pat Toomey (Pa.) received Finance positions for the 113th Congress. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) will leave the panel.
Leaders also announced that newly appointed Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) will join the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee starting Thursday.
- Harry Reid: Marks on my face not from Speaker Boehner
A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) says the dark marks seen on the lawmaker’s face as he spoke on the Senate floor Thursday are part of a “scheduled treatment for his skin” and “nothing to be concerned about.”
Reid, 73, had several blotches on his face as he delivered remarks at the opening of the 113th Congress.
- HHS approves healthcare exchanges in 8 states
Eight more states won conditional approval Thursday to operate healthcare exchanges under President Obama’s healthcare law.
California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Vermont and Utah will run state-based exchanges, while Arkansas will run a partnership exchange, officials said.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) also issued guidance for states considering a partnership exchange, in which the marketplace will be operated jointly by state and federal officials.
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