Healthcare News March 21, 2013

  • OVERNIGHT HEALTH: The public doesn’t understand health law

    Three years after it became law, Democrats have made almost no progress explaining the Affordable Care Act to the public.

  • Dem reaches out for support on regulation on dietary supplements

    A member of Senate Democratic leadership on Wednesday said he is courting Republican support for a bill that would mandate strict guidelines for energy drinks and dietary supplements.

    Energy drinks are marketed as dietary supplements instead of beverages, leading them to be regulated more laxly, Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.) said.

    “Go into that gas station and take a look at some of these energy drinks, and then look at the bottle of Gatorade or soda next to it in the case,” Durbin said. “One often regulated as a beverage, the other — the dietary supplement — is not.”

  • GOP bill would undo health law’s auto-enroll provision

    A Republican bill to toss the requirement that businesses automatically enroll new workers in the company health plan is winning praise from industry.

    Reps. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) and Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.) are behind the measure (H.R. 1254), introduced Wednesday, which would undo a provision of President Obama’s healthcare law.

    The lawmakers warned that the auto-enroll provision would bury employers of 200 workers or more in paperwork — a particular threat for industries that experience high employee turnover.

  • House Republican delays vote on asbestos bill

    Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) on Wednesday postponed a subcommittee vote on legislation aimed at limiting fraudulent asbestos injury claims.

    The Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act, which critics have called an “anti-victim” bill, had been scheduled to move forward Wednesday morning, but Bachus said he would delay the vote a month so the committee could hear testimony from people who have been sickened by the carcinogen.

    The Republican parliamentarian reportedly told Bachus several times that the bill needed to proceed and he kept refusing, ultimately saying he would “take it upon himself” to extend the time for testimony. 

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