Healthcare News September 15, 2012

  • Sequester would cut $11 billion from Medicare

    Sequestration would cut $11 billion from Medicare and take millions of dollars away from Affordable Care Act implementation programs.

    The Obama administration released its highly anticipated report Friday on the effects of sequestration — a blunt-force budget-cutting tool that Congress created when it raised the country’s debt ceiling.

    The sequester would make deep cuts to defense spending as well as domestic programs. Medicare payments to doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers would take an across-the-board 2 percent cut. That would come out to roughly $11 billion, according to the administration’s report.

    The sequester would also make significant cuts to programs created by the Affordable Care Act, which are not subject to the 2 percent cap.

  • Planned Parenthood attacks Ryan, speech to Values Voters

    Planned Parenthood’s political arm slammed Paul Ryan after the GOP vice-presidential candidate spoke to religious conservatives at the Values Voter Summit.

    Planned Parenthood Action Fund (PPAF) Vice President Dawn Laguens dismissed Ryan’s visit to the gathering as the “Republican ticket mingling with politicians and figureheads whose politics and priorities are out of touch with women.”

    The family-planning organization has found a prominent role in presidential politics as debates over women’s health remain in the headlines. Planned Parenthood has also sought to defend its public funding amid attacks from House Republicans, who see the group as an “abortion business,” over the last two years. 

  • House GOP questions HHS hiring, pay practices

    Republicans on Capitol Hill are asking why the federal health department has increased its use of special hiring practices in the last five years.

    In a hearing Friday, a House subcommittee on health cited a July report by government investigators finding 1,461 Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) employees are paid above $155,000 — more than most federal employees.

    The Government Accountability Office (GAO) also concluded that HHS has increased its use of “Title 42” hiring practices — pertaining to the hiring of specialists with special salary requirements — by 25 percent in the last five years. 

  • Ryan: Obama panders to Dem extremists with abortion position

    Ryan said Obama “stands for an absolute, unqualified right to an
    abortion at any time, under any circumstance.”

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