This week: GOP pitches Medicare, Medicaid overhauls

The Defense Department’s health budget will get special attention with two congressional hearings this week. The House Appropriations defense subpanel holds the first Tuesday, and its Senate counterpart follows suit Wednesday.
 
Abortion-rights activists on Thursday will flood the Capitol to fight back against several House bills that would place new limitations on abortion. Members of Congress and women’s health advocates will make their case at a rally near the Capitol.
 
On the legal front, the Obama administration late Friday night filed its opening brief defending healthcare reform in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is hearing the lawsuit brought by 26 states and the National Federation of Independent Business. “Friend-of-the-court” briefs are due Monday in the administration’s appeal of Virginia’s successful challenge to the law.
 
Congressional Medicare advisers will hold a two-day meeting starting Thursday. The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission will tackle the flawed Medicare physician reimbursement formula, private-sector payment rates and improving payment accuracy.
 
The Alliance for Health Reform on Monday will give a brief on the state of children’s healthcare in the Cannon House Office Building.