Vetoed: Arkansas's Democratic governor vetoed legislation Monday banning most abortions in the state after 12 weeks, about the time a fetal heartbeat can be detected. Mike Beebe said the bill is "blatantly" unconstitutional and questioned the wisdom of enacting a statute that would be costly to defend in court. Arkansas already bans most abortions after 20 weeks, and supporters of the stricter bill say they will seek a vote Tuesday to override the veto. Read more at Reuters.
Overstated? The Urban Institute is out with a new report challenging views that the healthcare law's age-rating provision will raise premiums on young adults. The effects of the 3:1 premium ratio — limiting seniors' premium costs to three times the cost for young adults' — are "overstated," said the study's lead author, Linda Blumberg. The report concluded that the alternative 5:1 ratio would undercharge young people, many of whom will be eligible for Medicaid or tax subsidies to buy insurance anyway. Read from the report here.
Overpaid: The Government Accountability Office (GAO) said Monday that the Medicare agency overpaid private Medicate plans by $3.2 billion to $5.1 billion between 2010 and 2012 — a finding that comes as insurers object to newly proposed reductions in Medicare Advantage. In a new report, the GAO said that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) needs to improve its way of adjusting payment formulas for Medicare Advantage to make the payments more accurate. Read more about the report at Healthwatch.
Taxable? House Republicans are concerned that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could move to regulate medical apps, as well as the phones and tablets that operate them, as medical devices. A group of six lawmakers, including House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), worried Friday in a letter to the FDA that the technologies could ultimately be taxed under the Affordable Care Act.
"Has the FDA discussed, prepared, or analyzed the effect of the medical device tax on smartphones (as well as tablets or similar devices) or the creators or distributors of applications for those products?" the lawmakers asked. Read more from the letter at Healthwatch.
The Federation of American Hospitals will hold its public policy conference at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.
The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Oversight will hold a forum on mental health issues in light of the Newtown, Conn., shooting.
The House Ways and Means subcommittee on Oversight will hold a hearing on the healthcare law's tax provisions.
Reps. Diane Black (R-Tenn.), Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) and John Fleming (R-La.) will unveil legislation to exempt individuals and groups from the health law's birth-control mandate.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will deliver remarks at the National Congress of American Indians Tribal Nations Legislative Summit. In the evening, she will give a speech at the 2013 American Association of People with Disabilities Awards Gala.
State by state
Christie touts Medicaid expansion at Jersey City healthcare center
Winning Strategies Washington / New Roads
Greenberg Traurig / Serco
Sequester expected to sock health centers [free reg. req'd]
Health law implementation largely untouched by automatic spending cuts
Study shows declining life span for some US women
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—This post was updated Tuesday at 10:21 a.m.