Capitol Hill was stunned Tuesday by Sen. Max Baucus's (D-Mont.) announcement that he will not seek reelection in 2014. Baucus was sure to face a tough fight, in no small part because of his leadership role in crafting the Affordable Care Act.
Baucus has gotten a lot more blame from the healthcare reform law's critics than credit from its supporters. While Republicans boasted Tuesday that Baucus was simply paying the price for helping pass an unpopular law, Democrats largely grumbled about his ties to lobbyists and his management of the healthcare bill in the summer of 2010.
Healthwatch has a full run-down of Baucus's complicated legacy on healthcare reform.
Wyden rising: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) is next in line to chair the Finance Committee if Democrats hold on to their Senate majority. Wyden is unquestionably a healthcare wonk, and his preference for competition and state innovation seems like a model for bipartisanship. Some Democrats, though, are concerned that Wyden might be too bipartisan, mostly because of his partnership with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on a controversial Medicare proposal in 2011. Read The Hill's preview of a possible Wyden chairmanship.
Tavenner advances: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) might get its first permanent administration in years. The Finance Committee approved by voice vote the nomination of Marilyn Tavenner to lead CMS. Timing for a floor vote isn't certain, but her nomination will likely move quickly, if her easy path through Finance is any indication. Healthwatch has the story.
Obama to speak: President Obama will deliver the keynote address at Planned Parenthood's annual gala Thursday night, highlighting his close ties to the group. The event will put Obama and Planned Parenthood back in the same headlines for the first time since the election. Planned Parenthood Action Fund spent millions to support Obama and other Democratic candidates and received a near-perfect return on its investments, according to a post-election review.
Read more at Healthwatch.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will testify on the 2014 budget before the Senate Appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over her department.
The Senate Special Committee on Aging will hold a hearing to asses the Obama administration’s national plan to fight Alzheimer’s disease.
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee on Financial and Contracting Oversight will hold a hearing on Medicare payments for durable medical equipment.
The House will consider a GOP bill to strengthen ObamaCare's high-risk pools.
The House Appropriations subcommittee on Defense will look at the budget for health programs at the Pentagon in its own hearing.
The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will consider the implementation of the healthcare law and its Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight in a hearing.
Health and Human Services will release new national standards for reducing health disparities through culturally and linguistically appropriate care.
The Obama administration will unveil a new National Drug Control Strategy.
The Campaign to End Obesity will publish a new study on obesity prevention.
State by state
California lawmakers seek to buck anti-abortion trend
Beebe signs 'private option' plan into law
Divided Texas panel OKs Medicaid bill
Keller McIntyre & Associates / Chronic Disease Fund
G2G Consulting / IMARC Research
G2G Consulting / Hattie Larlham
Fierce, Isakowitz & Blalock / Actavis
DLA Piper / Humetrix
Capitol City Group / Prime Healthcare Services
Keller McIntyre & Associates / Saint Anthony Hospital
Keller McIntyre & Associates / Mineral Community Hospital
Keller McIntyre & Associates / Huntsville Memorial Hospital
Lack of competition might hamper health exchanges
Judge drops three murder charges against abortion doctor Gosnell
Under ObamaCare program, doctor visits would become data points
Study: Chicken, ground beef riskiest for illness
What you might have missed on Healthwatch
Dem bill would ease abortion access at military hospitals
Tea Party groups claim victory over Baucus, ObamaCare
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