OVERNIGHT HEALTH: AARP backs tighter limits on Medigap plans

Cancer questions: The administrator of health benefits for victims of the 9/11 attacks in New York City on Tuesday declined to add cancer to the list of illnesses caused by the attacks.

The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act that became law in January did not list cancer as an illness covered by the law, but required periodic reviews of scientific and medical evidence to see if cancer, or a certain type of cancer, should be added to the list. The first review was published Tuesday. Healthwatch's Julian Pecquet has the story. 

Gag rule is back: The so-called global gag rule, which was included in a recently passed Foreign Affairs authorization bill, is cropping up elsewhere in the House. A draft of the 2012 State Department spending bill also includes the policy, which bans entities that receive U.S. aid from providing abortions or counseling women about the procedure.

A markup of the spending bill is set to get under way Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) introduced a bill late Monday to permanently repeal the gag rule. It already has more than 100 co-sponsors.

Buckeye State could buck mandate: Ohio might become the next state to pass a constitutional amendment disapproving of the healthcare reform law. Supporters of an amendment to challenge the law's individual coverage mandate have enough signatures to get the measure on the ballot in November. Healthwatch has the story.

Human research: The consumer group Public Citizen on Tuesday sent Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen SebeliusKathleen SebeliusJohn Roberts has tough job of keeping faith in Supreme Court Price was a disaster for HHS — Time for an administrator, not an ideologue Trump says he's unhappy with Price MORE a scathing letter questioning her department's commitment to obtaining public input on proposed new rules for human research subjects. HHS last week issued a call for public comments on a proposal to review the 20-year-old "Common Rule."

"The short [60-day] comment period — combined with the timing of publication in late summer, when key staff members at many stakeholder organizations typically have scheduled vacations — suggests that [HHS] is not sincerely interested in obtaining substantive and meaningful comment on these proposals," the letter states.

Patent reform: The conservative 60 Plus Association is calling on Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleySenators push mandatory sexual harassment training for members, staff Senate panel to hold hearing on bump stocks, background checks Senate panel to hold hearing on bump stocks MORE (R-Iowa) and other lawmakers to support patent reform legislation that would clarify patent extension law for drugmakers. Read their letter to Grassley here.

Dialysis lawsuit: Two former employees of the dialysis giant DaVita are suing the company for alleged Medicare fraud. Read the complaint.

Device guidance: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday issued draft guidance that clarifies when changes or modifications to a previously cleared 510(k) device require a new premarket submission.


Wednesday's agenda:

Not much going on Capitol Hill as debt talks continue, but health policy isn't grinding to a standstill either.

The Bipartisan Policy Center hosts a policy briefing on state innovations with health insurance exchanges at the Grand Hyatt from 9 to noon. Also in the morning, the National Press Club hosts a panel discussion on modernizing rural healthcare.

Home health rebellion: Home health nurses from across the country rally at the Capitol at 11 a.m. to push back against home health co-pays that were proposed as part of the debt-ceiling talks. Reps. James McGovern (D-Mass.) and Walter Jones (R-N.C.) are scheduled to attend. 

Separately, six members of the Blue Dog coalition sent a letter to the president recently decrying such co-pays as a burden on the states. Read the letter.


Lobbying registrations:

Hogan Lovells US / Quality Implant Coalition (coalition opposing self-referral to physician-owned companies)

Iovino Group / Aetna (medical savings accounts)


Reading list

10 hospitals are suing New Hampshire over its low Medicaid reimbursements, The Associated Press reports.

Modern Healthcare has more about the DaVita dialysis False Claims Act suit.


What you might have missed on Healthwatch:

Bipartisan hospital training bill clears House panel

Report: Customers ready to pay more for customized health plans


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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