OVERNIGHT HEALTH: Court to hear mandate arguments

Unhealthy interiors: Climate change could harm people's health as builders adopt potentially harmful "green" technologies, says a new Institute of Medicine report.

The report warns that the push to improve buildings' energy efficiency to counter climate change has spurred a shift to untested new materials and building retrofits that could limit and alter the air flow inside buildings and concentrate indoor pollutants such as chemical emissions and tobacco smoke. Healthwatch's Julian Pecquet has the story.

Happy patients: The number of satisfied hospital patients rose 1.6 percent in 2010, according to HealthGrades' annual survey, released Tuesday.

Patients in the West North Central states expressed the most positive experience with their hospital stay, followed by patients in the East South Central. Patients in the Mid-Atlantic region were least satisfied with their hospital stays. Read the Healthwatch story.

Chronic prevention: States and territories are eligible for up to $40 million to strengthen and coordinate efforts to prevent chronic disease, the Health and Human Services Department announced Tuesday. Healthwatch has more here.

Brain trust: Fifty-one members of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force and other supportive members signed onto a letter urging Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to require that health plans cover traumatic brain injuries, including through rehabilitation. The healthcare reform law gave HHS the authority to decide what constitutes "essential health benefits" that health plans must offer to qualify for subsidies on state exchanges starting in 2014. Read the letter.

Wednesday's agenda

Healthcare challenge: Atlanta's 11th Circuit Court of Appeals takes arguably the most significant step so far in the legal battle over healthcare reform when it hears arguments in the 26-state challenge to the law. The three-judge panel is split ideologically, and includes one judge appointed by George H.W. Bush and two Bill Clinton appointees, one of whom is a Republican.

As with previous arguments, the consumer health organization Families USA will hold a teleconference in the afternoon to highlight any indications that the law will eventually be upheld by the courts.

Lawyers in the news: The lead attorneys on both sides are under new scrutiny this week, reports the ACA Litigation Blog. Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal might be making his swan-song with this case after the Senate on Monday night confirmed Donald Verrilli to replace Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan as the nation's next solicitor general.

Arguing for the states, Paul Clement has been hired to defend Arizona's immigration law. That brings to three (along with the Defense of Marriage Act and the healthcare challenge) the number of ideologically charged issues George W. Bush's former solicitor general has taken on in recent months.

Lobbying registrations

Arent Fox / Sunrise VA medical (government contract construction)

Capitol Consulting Group / Kinetic Concepts (wound healing therapies and technologies)

Reading list

Democrats risk losing a vocal healthcare advocate in Rep. Weiner, Forbes writes.

Blue Shield of California will cap profits at 2 percent, chairman and CEO Bruce Bodaken announced in a San Francisco Chronicle editorial.

Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) faced an angry crowd of opponents to the GOP Medicare plan, reports the Superior Telegram.

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Comments / complaints / suggestions?

Please let us know:

Julian Pecquet: jpecquet@thehill.com / 202-628-8527

Sam Baker: sbaker@thehill.com / 202-628-8351

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