Healthcare News May 2, 2013

  • Justice Dept. to appeal Plan B court ruling

    The administration will appeal a court decision that required the FDA to make the controversial contraceptive more broadly available.

  • Republicans propose Medicaid caps

    Two prominent Republicans outlined a plan Wednesday to limit federal Medicaid spending and give states more control over the program.

    Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.), who chairs the Energy and Commerce Committee, and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the top Republican on the Finance Committee, proposed a “per capita cap” on Medicaid benefits.

    The idea of a per capita cap has its origins in the Clinton administration, and Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) has proposed something similar.

  • Elizabeth Kucinich named policy chief for food safety group

    The Center for Food Safety on Wednesday named Elizabeth Kucinich as the group’s policy director, a position that places her in the center of key battles over food and beverage regulation.

    The wife of two-time presidential hopeful and former Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), Elizabeth Kucinich has years of experience working on food-related and government affairs issues, according to the national nonprofit group.

    Her new role comes as the Obama administration is embarking on the biggest overhaul of the nation’s food safety rules in more than 70 years. At the same time, the Food and Drug Administration, the Agriculture Department and Congress are grappling with several food safety issues, from genetically engineered salmon to labels on artificially sweetened milk.

  • FDA pressed to go further on Plan B

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is under pressure from political activists — and some doctors — to remove all age restrictions on the over-the-counter sale of Plan B.

    The FDA made waves Tuesday by allowing the sale of Plan B without a prescription to women 15 and older. Its previous policy had restricted the drug to patients 17 and older.

    Women’s-health advocates said the move from 17 to 15 was a good first step, but doesn’t go far enough.

    The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists said Wednesday that emergency contraception should be available without any age restrictions.

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