By Healthwatch staff - 06/21/11 11:00 PM EDT
Drug negotiations: Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.) is co-sponsoring legislation that would require Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, a priority for House Democrats in the ongoing debt-ceiling negotiations.
The bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), could save up to $156 billion over 10 years, according to its proponents. Vehemently opposed by the pharmaceutical industry, the provision was in the House-passed healthcare reform bill but didn't make it into the final bill. Read the Healthwatch story.
Health assessments: Local, state and federal agencies should consider the potential public health impacts of major legislation and regulations — including agriculture subsidies, zoning decisions and education policy, the Institute of Medicine argues in a new report. Healthwatch's Julian Pecquet has the story.
We of little faith: Americans are deeply pessimistic about the country's healthcare system, according to a report released Tuesday by Deloitte.
The survey found negative attitudes at nearly every level. For example, despite conservative lawmakers' frequent claims that the U.S. has the best healthcare system in the world, only 24 percent of Americans view it as even among the world's best systems. Healthwatch's Sam Baker has more.
Doctors vote: The American Medical Association tackled several public health issues at their Chicago meeting after making big news Monday with their decision to continue supporting the healthcare reform law's individual mandate.
Over the past two days, the AMA voted to:
• Support a ban on "bath salts";
• Recognize Bisphenol A (BPA) as an endocrine-disrupting agent and call for its clear labeling;
• Support closer monitoring of mercury emissions at cement plants;
• Encourage physician referrals of pregnant and recent postpartum patients for nutrition counseling and advocate for the extension of health insurance coverage for nutrition counseling for all pregnant and recent postpartum patients; and
• Recommend nutritional guidelines for incarcerated adolescents and adults "to address their unique nutritional needs."
The AMA once again punted on one of the most controversial issue, however — a tax on sodas, opting instead to study the issue further.
Abortion pledge: Concerned Women for America take presidential candidate Mitt Romney to task for refusing to sign an anti-abortion pledge.
Batting almost 1000: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention failed to properly document its monitoring of President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief cooperative agreements in 29 out of 30 cases, the HHS Office of Inspector General reports.
Trustees report: The Ways and Means Health subcommittee will hear from two Medicare and Social Security trustees about the latest report to Congress warning that the hospital insurance trust fund will be exhausted by 2024. This is meant to be the first in a series of hearings on Medicare's future.
Doctors' orders: Republican doctors in the House and Senate get together later in the afternoon to blast President Obama's proposals to keep Medicare solvent.
Secondary payer: The Energy and Commerce Oversight subpanel examines Medicare's secondary payer regime, which kicks in when beneficiaries are covered by an employer group health plan or worker's compensation insurance.
Waiver politics: House Republicans take HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to task during a press conference on healthcare reform waivers and the GOP's request for more information.
More ACOs: The conservative Heritage Foundation holds a Capitol Hill briefing at noon on Accountable Care Organizations and their expected impact on the healthcare system. A key takeaway from the briefing announcement: "ACOs appear to be only the latest form of managed care."
Childhood obesity: The Institute of Medicine releases a report on strategies for preventing obesity in children from birth through preschool. The report will recommend policies to promote healthy weights among children under the age of 5.
Defensive medicine: The Senate Appropriations Defense subcommittee holds a hearing on the Department of Defense’s 2012 request, which includes $52 billion for healthcare spending.
McKenna, Long & Aldridge / Revance Therapeutics (biopharmaceutical company)
What you might have missed on Healthwatch:
The healthcare reform law will boost employer-sponsored coverage, argues the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Public health groups are applauding the FDA's new graphic warning labels for cigarette packs and ads.
Congressional Democrats are urging the Department of Justice to leave medical marijuana laws up to the states.
The four main non-communicable diseases — cancer, diabetes and heart and lung disease — are now responsible for two thirds of deaths worldwide, the Associated Press reports from the U.N.
A North Carolina man reportedly held up a bank for $1 in order to get free healthcare in prison, ABC News reports.
The FICO credit score company plans to rate how likely patients are to adhere to their medications, The New York Times reports.
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