Healthcare News March 24, 2012

  • Obama camp’s pitch to supporters: ‘Hell yeah, I’m for Obamacare’

    The president’s reelection campaign is embracing a term that conservatives use to deride the healthcare reform law.

  • ‘Swift’ FDA action urged after court calls for limiting antibiotic use on farms

    Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) and an array of consumer groups urged quick action after a federal court ruled that the Food and Drug Administration must start withdrawing approval for the use of unsafe antibiotics in animal agriculture.

    “The FDA has been dragging its feet on this for 35 years,” Slaughter said in a statement Friday. “We’ve all known that this is a public health issue for quite some time. … I’m pleased to finally see some progress, and I can only hope that we see swift action from the FDA on this looming crisis.”

    The drug and agriculture industries say feeding antibiotics to animals that aren’t sick keeps them healthy and protects consumers. Critics of the practice say it risks making life-saving medicines less effective, an opinion New York Magistrate Judge Theodore Katz appeared to share Thursday.

    “Research has shown that the use of antibiotics in livestock leads to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can be — and has been — transferred from animals to humans through direct contact, environmental exposure and the consumption and handling of contaminated meat and poultry products,” Katz wrote.

  • Ex-Medicare chief Don Berwick joins liberal think tank

    Donald Berwick, President Obama’s controversial nominee to head the Medicare agency, has joined the Center for American Progress, the liberal think thank announced Friday.

    In a statement, CAP President Neera Tanden called Berwick a “visionary leader of change and progress in our healthcare system.” 

    “As the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and in his previous roles he has championed reforms of our healthcare system that lower costs while improving care, all toward the goal of serving patients better,” Tanden said. “We are thrilled to have Don join CAP as a senior fellow, as he is a critical voice for our national deliberations on healthcare now and in the future.”

  • McConnell: No decision on healthcare repeal vote before election

    The GOP leader has come under strong pressure from conservative groups to force another vote on full repeal.

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