By Jason Millman - 01/20/11 12:20 AM EST
Just three Dems against repeal: Despite some Republican projections that the bill repealing healthcare reform would generate hefty Democratic support, just three Democrats supported the measure Wednesday night. The Democrats supporting repeal — Reps. Dan Boren (Okla.), Mike McIntyre (N.C.) and Mike Ross (N.C.) — all voted against the reform law in the last Congress. http://bit.ly/i36oTs
Boehner says no timeline for replacement: There is no need for a timeline to replace the healthcare reform law, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Wednesday morning. Democrats blasted the GOP for pushing repeal without replacing the reform law’s consumer protections, but Boehner said committees need time to craft replacement legislation. http://bit.ly/eJ6sh1
Boehner cites Independent support for repeal and replace: Fifty-four percent of Independents support the plan to repeal and replace the reform law, according to a new survey from a Republican pollster. Boehner touted the poll on his Twitter feed Wednesday morning. http://bit.ly/hvhton
Medicare actuary won’t sit on the sidelines: Medicare’s chief actuary, a referee in the contentious healthcare reform debate, told The Hill he won’t hesitate to strike back at anyone who twists his analysis of the controversial law. The actuary’s cost estimates of healthcare legislation have been used by both parties to bolster their arguments, and Rick Foster said he’ll fight back if the office’s work is misrepresented or mischaracterized. http://bit.ly/fimz7w
Debate not so civil at times: Although many called for lawmakers to avoid incendiary statements in the wake of the Arizona shooting, the floor debate showed that some members disregarded those pleas.
Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen (Tenn.) on the House floor Tuesday night compared Republican claims about the reform law to lies perpetrated by the Nazis that led to the Holocaust. "They say it's a government takeover of healthcare. A big lie, just like Goebbels,” said Cohen, who is Jewish.
Meanwhile, Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) said House Republicans will vote to repeal the healthcare law “lock, stock and barrel.”
Another day, another poll: A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that 46 percent of the American oppose repeal, while 45 percent support it. http://on.msnbc.com/eC7Pcq
E&C outlines health priorities: Republicans on the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee outlined their priorities in a document obtained by The Hill. The document foreshadows a major political issue for the current Congress: drug and medical device user fees that fund federal regulators. http://bit.ly/fBLvDQ
FDA announces new process for medical device review: After 16 months of review, the Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday announced it will be making 25 changes this year to its most commonly used approval process for medical devices. http://bit.ly/fTHxdi
Industry approves: AdvaMed, which represents medical device manufacturers, said it was “pleased” with the changes. “Much of the agency’s plan supports our long-standing position that the 510(k) process is fundamentally sound and has been beneficial to American patients,” the group said in a statement.
At least one Dem upset: Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) said the FDA plan “is very disappointing,” accusing the agency of bending to industry’s wishes.
Mental health advocates blast repeal: Striking down the reform law would take away "groundbreaking steps" to expand access to care and prevention of mental illness and substance abuse," the nonprofit group Mental Health America said Wednesday. http://bit.ly/h4cF5Z
GOP frosh voice reform opposition: Republican House freshmen, who largely campaigned on repealing the reform law, made their presence known during the House debate. http://bit.ly/f4kYfB
Dems announce Appropriations health subcommittee members: DeLauro will be the subcommittee’s ranking member, and she is joined by Nita Lowey (N.Y.), Jesse Jackson Jr. (Ill.), Lucille Roybal-Allard (Calif.) and Barbara Lee (Calif.).
Ways and Means health subcommittee, too: Rep. Pete Stark (Calif.) will be the subcomittee’s ranking member, and he is joined by Reps. Mike Thomspon (Calif.), Ron Kind (Wis.), Earl Blumenauer (Ore.) and Bill Pascrell (N.J.).
And finally, E&C health Dems: Frank Pallone (N.J.) is the subcommittee's ranking member, and he is joined by Reps. John Dingell (Mich.); Edolphus Towns (N.Y.); Eliot Engel (N.Y.); Lois Capps (Calif.); Jan Schakowsky (Ill.); Charles Gonzalez (Texas); Tammy Baldwin (Wis.); Mike Ross (Ark.); Anthony Weiner (N.Y.); and Henry Waxman (Calif.).
Doctors negative on reform: Sixty-five percent of doctors think the quality of American healthcare will deteriorate over the next five years, and nearly 80 percent think the reform law will reduce physician reimbursement, according to a new Thomson Reuters/HCPlexus survey of about 3,000 physicians.
Maternal health: The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices issued a new report on states’ maternal and child health.
FAH promotes two: The Federation of American Hospitals announced that Marci Freeman was promoted to vice president of administrative services, and Alexander Mullineaux is now the director of legislation and public affairs.
Six added to multi-state lawsuit: A Florida federal judge allowed six states — for a grand total of 26 — to join a lawsuit against the reform law. The states made the request yesterday.
On the agenda for Thursday:
Replacement effort begins: With the repeal vote out of the way, the GOP will vote on a resolution Thursday that instructs committees to replace the reform law. Some Republican House members said Wednesday that the replacement effort would include popular consumer protections, such as a ban on insurers’ discrimination against preexisting conditions and allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance until 26 years of age.
The GOP leaders of the committees charged with replacing the reform will hold a press conference Thursday afternoon. Those attending include: Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (Mich.); Education and Workforce Chairman John Kline (Minn.); Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (Wis.); Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith; and Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (Mich.).
Obama official spotlights breastfeeding: Surgeon General Regina Benjamin will issue a report Thursday morning on how “all sectors of the community” can remove obstacles faced by women who want to breastfeed.
Tort reform hearing: The House Judiciary Committee will hold a full committee oversight hearing on medical liability reform. The trial lawyers’ lobby criticized the GOP for holding their first healthcare hearing on tort reform.
“Instead of examining how to lower premiums, improve access to care, or cover the uninsured, the committee will instead tackle ‘tort reform’ – a direct attack on patients who have been injured by medical negligence through no fault of their own,” the American Association for Justice said in a statement. The American Medical Association will make the case Thursday that the medical liability system is in “desperate need of reform.”
Geographic factors in Medicare: The Institute of Medicine will hold a hearing on how Medicare’s geographic adjustment factors influence healthcare access, quality and the industry’s workforce.
E&C organizes: The Energy and Commerce Committee, one of the House panels that will consider “replacement” legislation to the reform law, will hold an organizational meeting at 9:30 a.m. Thursday in 2123 Rayburn House Office Building.
Health IT chief looks to future: David Blumenthal, President Obama’s health information technology czar, will discuss health IT and future healthcare innovations at the National Press Club.
Around the Web:
The Justice Department asked a federal judge to throw out Missouri’s lawsuit against the healthcare reform law, the Associated Press reports. http://bit.ly/hWnaN4
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, former Congressional Budget Office chief Douglas Holtz-Eakin casts doubt on the CBO score projecting that repeal of the reform law will add $230 billion to the deficit. http://on.wsj.com/eDPgrT
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner writes on his blog that repealing the reform law is bad for the economy. http://bit.ly/hoaCSG
A consultant hired by Vermont said the state is capable of instituting a single-payer healthcare system, the Associated Press reports. http://bloom.bg/hclBYv
A new study finds that Medicare does not always fully pay for preventive services recommended by government advisers, but it does cover some screening tests the advisers recommend against, Reuters reports. http://reut.rs/eOZtj3
Avastin’s manufacturer is asking the FDA to halt the agency’s proposed withdrawal of the drug for breast cancer treatment as the company seeks new data, Bloomberg reports. http://bit.ly/fVk7qk
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