Healthwatch has more on the IPAB back-and-forth.
Not so fast: AARP released a statement asking the presidential candidates not to cite it to score political points. The message was almost certainly aimed at Obama, who cited AARP in the debate during arguments against Romney's Medicare policies and for the Affordable Care Act. This is the second time in a period of months that AARP has hit Obama for leveraging the group's research to criticize Romney.
Exchange ads: Republicans are already unhappy about state exchanges using federal grant money for public-relations campaigns. So they probably won't be too happy about the federal government signing a $3.1 million contract to boost the federal fallback exchange in states that don't set up their own. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services signed PR firm Weber Shandwick to help with the "educational effort" around the federal exchange, a spokesman from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said. Healthwatch has the details.
Business gripes: Small businesses in Washington, D.C., are protesting the district's decision to move its entire small-group market into its exchange. The D.C exchange decided that all policies for businesses with fewer than 50 employees would have to be sold through the exchange, in order to attract enough customers to make the marketplace sustainable. But small businesses say that limits their choices and could raise their costs. The Washington Post has the story.
Big fraud bust: The Department of Health and Human Services was eager to tout a major Medicare fraud bust Thursday: HHS and the Justice Department said they filed charges against 91 people in seven cities alleging roughly $430 billion in Medicare fraud. Many of the defendants are accused of billing Medicare for services they never provided. The total includes $230 million in home health fraud, $100 million from community mental health facilities and $49 million in ambulance fraud, HHS said.
"In addition to the arrests made today, HHS used new authority from the health care law to stop future payments to many of the health care providers suspected of fraud, saving Medicare resources and taxpayer dollars from being lost to fraud in the first place," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement.
About that free birth control: A new study conducted in St. Louis linked free birth control to dramatically lower rates of abortions and teen births. Dr. Jeffrey Peipert of Washington University found that expanding a program that provides a range of free birth control methods could prevent one abortion for every 79 to 137 women using the benefit. There were about six teen births per 1,000 women in the study, compared with a national rate of 34 births to 1,000 teens. And abortion rates were found to be lower too, with 4.4 and 7.5 abortions per 1,000 women in the St. Louis project compared with almost 20 abortions per 1,000 women nationally. The Associated Press has more on the study.
AHIP will continue its 2012 state issues conference
State by state
Tarplin Strategies / Alegeus Technologies
Michael Salgaller / Fabiani & Company, Aura BioSciences
Nelson, Mullins, Riley & Scarborough / Truven Health Analytics
First presidential debate marked by disagreements over taxes, Medicare and health issues
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Teen smoking linked to earlier death
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