Healthcare News May 8, 2013

  • OVERNIGHT HEALTH: GOP weighs second high-risk pools vote

    Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) indicated Tuesday that GOP leadership could bring back a bill to strengthen part of ObamaCare. The measure to shore up the law’s temporary high-risk insurance pools, lacking enough support for passage, was recently pulled from the House floor before its final vote.

    “Conversation underway,” Boehner said of the legislation, which drew opposition from prominent Tea Party and conservative groups. “I think there’s a lot more conversation about all of ObamaCare that needs to take place,” Boehner added.

    The Helping Sick Americans Now Act (H.R. 1549) would pull funds from the Affordable Care Act’s preventive health fund and use them to reopen a temporary insurance program for people with pre-existing conditions. The Obama administration stopped enrolling new patients earlier this year, citing financial struggles in the program.

    The vote on H.R. 1549 was seen as another cohesion test for the GOP conference, and leaders will be loath to bring the measure back until it is guaranteed to pass. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) previously named fixing the Pre-Existing Conditions Insurance Plan as one of the conference’s top priorities for spring. Read more about Boehner’s comments on Tuesday here.

    Richards rising: Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, is no stranger to controversy. She’s also no stranger to politics, and she has used the relentless attacks on her organization to its advantage. Healthwatch recently sat down with Richards for an interview, in which she credited Planned Parenthood’s power to the grassroots support of millions of patients. And even one of Planned Parenthood’s staunchest opponents offered up unprompted praise of Richards’s political skill.

    Be sure to check out our profile.

  • Reports: Judge hammers FDA over ‘nonsense’ limits on Plan B

    A federal judge slammed the Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday over its handling of the birth-control pill known as Plan B.

    Judge Edward Korman accused the FDA of putting politics above science and described its regulation of Plan B as “a lot of nonsense,” according to media reports.

    Korman ruled last month that the FDA must remove all age restrictions on the sale of Plan B. On Tuesday, he considered whether to stop his ruling from taking effect while the government pursues an appeal.

  • Rockefeller presses health, safety standards after ‘poop cruise’

    Sen. Rockefeller wrote to executives of three major cruise lines asking about their standards and the industry’s role in the economy.

  • GOP: ObamaCare compliance burden nears 190 million hours

    Complying with President Obama’s healthcare law will take nearly 190 million hours per year, according to a new tally released by House Republicans.

    The GOP reached that total by adding together the compliance burden in each regulation implementing part of the healthcare law.

    They said the annual burden to comply with ObamaCare is enough time to build Mount Rushmore more than 1,500 times over, or to build the Empire State Building 27 times.

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