Americans are only eight months into the passage of the more than 2,000-page healthcare bill, but they are beginning to see some of the problems created by this new healthcare law.
One of the key tasks of the incoming Congress is going to be reauthorization of PDUFA - the Prescription Drug User Fee Act. This Act provides key resources for the FDA to review and approve safe and effective new products. PDUFA expires in September in 2012, but the heavy lifting is going to begin in 2011, as the new GOP Congress selects Chairmen, picks keys staff, and starts setting its agenda for the 112th Congress.
On World AIDS Day, we take time to remember those who have been lost to this devastating disease, and recommit ourselves to saving as many lives as we can, now and in the future. This December 1, World AIDS Day is also an opportunity to reflect on what we have achieved. We have saved millions of lives from AIDS over the past decade. By investing in what we know works, we can save millions more in the future.
As House Republicans prepare to assume the majority, we must also prepare to promote a strong agenda that encourages job growth and shrinks government. We can think of no better way to begin than by immediately repealing and replacing the Democrats’ massive job-killing healthcare takeover. As part of this process, the Energy and Commerce Committee will embark on a comprehensive oversight and legislative strategy to uncover the many problems of the law and foster a new approach that will reduce healthcare costs; lower government spending on healthcare; reduce the role of government in the healthcare delivery process; and protect the sanctity of life.
Healthcare reform is now in the hands of the regulators who must bring about meaningful change to improve healthcare coverage and make our system both more efficient and comprehensive. A critical element to reform envisioned by Congress is a much greater degree of integration among providers through entities known as Accountable Care Organizations (ACO's). ACO's will build upon successful examples of collaboration among hospitals and physicians that have effectively led to lower costs and higher quality results.
The annual Medicare enrollment period began Nov. 15 and runs to Dec. 31, allowing 28 million seniors eligible for Medicare Part D benefits to review their current and anticipated drug coverage needs for 2011. Community pharmacists are an important local Medicare resource and can help patients understand coverage options and expected costs. We understand health needs change with time.
It’s time to face an uncomfortable fact: recent policies have hurt many older Americans by diminishing their independence and autonomy. At least three major policy decisions — massive cutbacks in home healthcare, a cut (for the second year in a row) in Social Security’s spending power, and the near destruction of the Medicare Advantage program — threaten to disrupt the stability of millions of America’s senior citizens. And, given the significant losses Democrats experienced at the polls, these changes to Medicare and Social Security deserve a large part of the blame.
More than any other issue, “Obamacare” became the bete noir for the Democrats during the Congressional elections in 2010. Even Democratic candidates ran away from the legislation or any identification with the President’s healthcare plan. It has puzzled me how this much-needed program to assist Americans with the high costs of medical care could become so demonized by the opposition.