By Julian Pecquet - 01/10/11 11:00 PM EST
The Democrats' bill, according to the Congressional Budget Office, contains about $106 billion in authorizations that still need to be appropriated. But $86 billion of that, CBO said in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), is for continuation of existing activities, such as programs of the Indian Health Service and Federally Qualified Health Centers.
Republicans may well want to continue its funding even if the law is repealed, and CBO writes that "repeal of those ... authorizations would not necessarily result in discretionary savings of that amount." http://bit.ly/eacQtl
Ohio AG asks to join multi-state challenge to healthcare law: On his first day on the job, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine asked his Florida counterpart to try to add Ohio as a plaintiff in a 20-state challenge against Democrats' healthcare reform law. The federal judge in that case is expected to rule shortly on the constitutionality of the law's individual mandate requiring people to have health insurance and its massive expansion of Medicaid. http://bit.ly/g5lD6k
Repeal costs quantified: Repealing Democrats' healthcare reform bill would have grave consequences for individuals and businesses, according to a new report from the left-leaning U.S. Public Interest Research Group. According to the report, repeal would negatively affect:
• 57,152,000 Americans who can no longer be rejected by health plans because of pre-existing health conditions;
• 2 million uninsured young adults who will lose their ability to stay on their parents' insurance;
• 28.6 million Americans who would have been eligible for insurance subsidies. http://bit.ly/hJLiOc
On the agenda for Tuesday:
States' rights advocates debate state budget crisis, healthcare implications: The Mercatus Center at George Mason University holds a panel on "Broke States & Bailouts: Restoring Fiscal Federalism through Budget & Labor Reform." Panelists include Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), founder of the Congressional 10th Amendment Task Force. http://bit.ly/efwK0a
Menthol cigarettes under scrutiny: The Food and Drug Administration's tobacco advisory panel launches Day Two of its meeting to assess the risks of menthol tobacco products. The Tobacco Products Safety Advisory Committee is scheduled to recommend in March whether to ban the products, which are particularly enticing to black and adolescent smokers. http://bit.ly/hRBW6I
NFL players tackle safety issues: The NFL Players Association and NFL players Domonique Foxworth (Baltimore Ravens) and Scott Fujita (Cleveland Browns) are scheduled to brief the media on the health and safety issues facing football players.
Around the Web:
Oklahoma to challenge healthcare reform law: Oklahoma was scheduled to file its own lawsuit on Monday, citing the law's incompatibility with a new state law outlawing the individual mandate, reports Tulsa World. http://bit.ly/fFwpmE
Georgia joins multi-state lawsuit, for real: Georgia's new attorney general tells The Associated Press that his office is joining the multi-state lawsuit against Democrats' healthcare reform law. Georgia had already joined the 20-state lawsuit over the objections of Democratic AG Thurbert Baker through the appointment of a special attorney, but Baker successor Sam Olens says having his office involved means Georgia's challenge "will have the full weight of the state behind it." http://bit.ly/hBxPMJ
White House sides with drug makers on pricing dispute: The Obama administration is taking the side of drug companies in a lawsuit over pricing in the federal 340B drug discount program, The New York Times reports. http://nyti.ms/hGgr0B
The brief can be found here: http://bit.ly/euXmBd
California joins pay-for-delay lawsuit: California has joined 31 other states in an amicus brief challenging the legality of settlements between drug makers and their generic competitors, the Sacramento Bee reports. http://bit.ly/edc2Bk
Supreme Court to rule on data mining: The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to rule on the legality of state laws banning the publication and distribution of physicians' drug prescription practices, reports Modern Healthcare. The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York struck down a Vermont law in November on the grounds that it violates the right to free speech, but the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston has upheld similar statutes from Maine and New Hampshire. http://bit.ly/gIxd9Y
Group pushes Medicaid block grants for states: The Galen Institute is planning a conference call with state legislators who are considering Medicaid block grants as a way to get around the healthcare reform law's requirements, reports Inside Health Policy. http://bit.ly/eISOCq (subscription required).
Haiti medical aid criticized: The British charity Merlin is arguing that a "takeover" of Haiti's health system by international relief workers after the 2010 earthquake caused "unnecessary deaths" and "undermined the country's own fragile medical facilities," reports the Financial Times. Other agencies, the FT reports, have criticized international donors for a "poor response" to the recent cholera outbreak amid concerns that "pledged money has not been forthcoming or has been disbursed very slowly." http://bit.ly/gB3Os0 (subscription required)
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