- Supreme Court faces an unprecedented healthcare frenzy
The frenzy surrounding the healthcare reform law hearing is likely to dwarf anything the court has ever seen.
- Court faces an unprecedented frenzy
The frenzy generated by the Supreme Court’s arguments on the healthcare reform law next week is likely to dwarf anything the court has ever seen.
- OVERNIGHT HEALTH: IPAB repeal hits House floor
The House begins debate on repealing the healthcare reform law’s cost-cutting panel on Wednesday after the bill cleared the House Rules Committee late Tuesday afternoon. A floor vote could happen Wednesday or Thursday.
The Rules Committee approved six amendments to the bill, which ties repeal of the controversial Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) to medical malpractice caps. Linking the two together eliminates any hope of getting Democratic support, but that seems to have been the Republican leadership’s intention all along.
Congressional and lobbying sources tell The Hill that the House leadership — led by Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) — has decided that linking the two bills together achieves the dual aim of denying Democrats a vote against an unpopular provision of the law while mending bridges with the powerful American Medical Association. Healthwatch’s Julian Pecquet has more on the GOP strategy here.
White House threatens veto: White House opposition to the IPAB bill is the opposite of a surprise, but the administration made it official Tuesday with a formal veto threat.
“H.R. 5 would repeal and dismantle the IPAB even before it has a chance to work,” the White House said in a statement of administration policy. “The bill would eliminate an important safeguard that, under current law, will help reduce the rate of Medicare cost growth responsibly while protecting Medicare beneficiaries and the traditional program.”
The administration also said it opposes “artificial” caps on malpractice awards. President Obama’s advisers would recommend a veto if the bill makes it that far.
- Repeal vote could help GOP with physicians’ lobby
A vote in the House this week on repealing a portion of the healthcare reform law could go a long way toward helping Republicans mend fences with the American Medical Association (AMA).
The powerful physicians’ lobby was at loggerheads with Republicans when it endorsed the Democratic healthcare reform plan in 2009, a rift that persisted after Congress enacted the bill into law.
But two years after the passage of reform, the AMA’s relationship with Democrats has soured, partially because Democrats have failed to deliver on promises to eliminate scheduled cuts to Medicare payments to doctors.
House Republicans, meanwhile, are moving forward with legislation supported by the AMA that would repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a panel established by the healthcare law to cut Medicare costs.
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