OVERNIGHT HEALTH: Lawsuit over mandate headed straight to Supreme Court

Don't tax me: Doctors shouldn't have to foot the bill if Congress comes up with a new way to set their Medicare payments, a group of medical specialties said Monday. Read the Healthwatch post.

Drug shortage: The generic drug lobby called on all sectors of the drug industry — brand-name drugmakers, active ingredient suppliers, component suppliers, wholesalers and distributors, group purchasing organizations, healthcare providers and the FDA — to cooperate if the nation's drug shortage problem is going to be addressed. Generic Pharmaceutical Association President and CEO Ralph Neas made the comments during an FDA workshop on shortages.

Buying influence: What can get doctors labeled as drug industry shills? How about coffee and sandwiches at educational symposiums? A psychiatrist who found himself on a list of doctors paid to peddle pharmaceuticals explains

Minimal cost: The Government Accountability Office says the Department of Defense will incur minimal costs from implementing the healthcare reform law.

There shall be light: The folks who designed improved miners' safety lamps were among the winners of a semiannual HHS contest aimed at sparking innovation within the agency's sprawling bureaucracy. Read the Healthwatch post.

Tuesday's agenda

Sparring over premiums: The Kaiser Family Foundation releases its annual survey on health insurance premiums, setting up the usual battle between Republicans (they're going up!) and Democrats (things would be worse without the health law!).

Medicaldevicepalooza: Former President George W. Bush addresses the plenary lunch for the AdvaMed 2011 conference; Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-Ind.) speaks at 7:30 a.m. for the plenary breakfast. Here's the agenda.

GOP health agenda: House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) delivers a speech at Stanford. The title: "The Optimist’s Guide to Repeal and Replace, Patient-Centered Health-Care Reform for the 21st-Century."

Bill tracker

The House adopted an amendment by Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) requiring future assessments of environmental regulations to analyze the impact that a rule or action could have on low-income communities and public health. 

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) has a bill requiring HHS to establish a demonstration program to encourage medical-legal partnerships to help patients and their families navigate health-related programs and activities (S. 1609).

Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) reintroduced his Empowering Patients First Act to extend access to coverage by granting individuals tax deductions to buy insurance on their own and giving sliding-scale tax credits to low-income Americans (H.R. 3000).

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) has a bill to enhance research and programs on childhood cancer survivorship (H.R. 3015). Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.) introduced the Senate companion (S. 1613). 

Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) wants to give authorities a way to track, seize and destroy counterfeit drugs (H.R. 3026).

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) introduced a bill that would repeal so-called state and federal "HIV criminalization laws" that impose tougher penalties on people with HIV (H.R. 3053).

Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) dropped legislation to improve the priority review voucher incentive program relating to tropical and rare pediatric diseases (H.R. 3059).

Lobbying registrations

Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn / Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO)

J M Burkman & Associates / Newlife Sciences (scientific and biological research organization)

Cardinal Point Partners / St. Elizabeth's Medical Center — Brighton Marine

Barbour Griffith & Rogers d/b/a BGR Government Affairs / Lifecare Hospitals (long-term acute care)

Podesta Group / National Hispanic Council on Aging

The Gibson Group / Express Scripts

Fraud fight

A Texas dentist got 70 months for Medicaid fraud.

A Massachusetts doctor was arrested and arraigned on charges of running an intricate Medicaid fraud kickback scheme.

Reading list

Texas's Medicaid revamp could spell trouble for Gov. Rick Perry's presidential campaign, writes Kaiser Health News.

The FDA is close to issuing guidelines for the development of generic versions of complex biotechnology medicines, reports Reuters.

Drug firms are using backdoor tactics to push their product in Eastern Europe, reports The Guardian.

What you might have missed on Healthwatch

Dem lawmakers to fight for CLASS health program's survival

Republicans vow to keep controversy over healthcare reform law waivers alive


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