Healthcare News June 13, 2012

  • OVERNIGHT HEALTH: Romney tackles pre-existing conditions

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney focused on healthcare Tuesday during a campaign stop in Florida — a pivotal swing state. Romney reiterated that he wants to see President Obama’s healthcare law repealed, and he also made some news by addressing the issue of pre-existing conditions.

    Republican lawmakers are divided over whether their plan to replace the Affordable Care Act should copy the law’s policy on pre-existing conditions. Romney’s answer might have sounded to some people like a “yes,” but it was actually a “no.”

    “I want to make sure that people can’t get dropped if they have a pre-existing condition,” Romney said at a campaign event in Orlando, adding that a new law should make sure people “who have been insured in the past are able to get coverage.”

    That policy — limited to people who already have insurance — was part of federal law before the ACA. Obama’s healthcare law goes further by requiring insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions even if they’ve had a gap in their coverage or are buying a policy for the first time.

  • GOP senator slams administration for advising against cancer test

    Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) blasted the Obama administration Tuesday after a medical panel recommended that men forgo a controversial blood test for prostate cancer.

    The guidance was released in May by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).

    Many experts, in agreement with the panel, say side effects from testing and treating prostate cancer tend to be riskier than the cancer itself.

    But Hutchison denounced the group as a “panel of bureaucrats” denying access to a vital test by “fiat.”

    “While the USPSTF is undoubtedly well-meaning, this decision is clearly misguided and could have a devastating impact on lives,” she wrote in an op-ed in the Houston Chronicle.

    “Whether or not to test is a judgment that should be made on an individual basis.”

  • Dems, GOP battle over healthcare law as 2013 spending bill advances

    Democrats and Republicans clashed over Obama’s
    signature reform law as Democrats moved forward with a
    spending bill that funds it.

  • Report: Medicaid costs squeezing state budgets

    The poor economy and rising healthcare costs are driving up states’ expenditures on Medicaid, according to a new report from the bipartisan National Governors Association (NGA).

    The analysis comes as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on the 2010 healthcare reform law, which included a massive Medicaid expansion, and as cash-strapped states make cuts to the program. 

    In its report, the NGA found that Medicaid accounted for the largest share of state spending in 2011 — 24 percent overall — and that this figure represented a steep rise that continued this year, even as federal Medicaid spending declined.

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