OVERNIGHT HEALTH: IOM recommends pegging health law benefits to small-business plans

Friday's agenda

HHS is expected to issue its decision on Georgia's health law waiver application by close of business.


State by state

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation ensuring maternity services are covered by health insurers and that new mothers can no longer lose their health insurance as a result of taking maternity leave.


Regulatory watch

FDA issued guidance on the Food Safety Modernization Act's fee provisions.


Bill tracker

The House rejected several health-related amendments to the EPA/boiler bill. 

The National Right to Life Committee is urging House members to vote for legislation prohibiting taxpayer subsidies from paying for insurance plans that cover abortions when it comes to the floor next week. The Protect Life Act (H.R. 358) is sponsored by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.). 

Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Texas) wants to freeze implementation of the healthcare reform law and establish a commission to evaluate its impact on "the delivery of health care to current Medicare recipients, job creation, current health insurance coverage, participation in State exchanges, and the Federal deficit." (H.R. 3095)

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) has a bill requiring that mammography summaries delivered to a patient after a mammography examination contain information regarding the patient's breast density and language communicating that individuals with more dense breasts could benefit from supplemental screening tests. (H.R. 3102).


Fraud fight

Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Scios Inc. pleaded guilty to branding a heart failure drug for a use for which it hadn't been approved. Scios will pay an $85 million criminal fine.

Columbia University and New York Presbyterian Hospital have settled charges of defrauding Medicare by over-billing for urological procedures and billing for urological tests that were medically unnecessary. The university's trustees will pay $995,000 in civil damages under the False Claims Act.

An Indiana pharmacist was sentenced to 51 months in prison for healthcare fraud and money laundering.


Reading list

A law firm representing the coal industry got hit with an ethics complaint for suggesting high rates of birth defects near Appalachian mountaintop mining sites are due to inbreeding, the Am Law Daily reports.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is crafting a set of strategies to prod conservative states to set up insurance exchanges, Politico reports.

Roll Call says insurers and the pharmaceutical industry — which supported healthcare reform and ran ads promoting it — are part of a $3 million effort to stoke opposition to the law.

Mother Jones skewers Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) for introducing a bill to repeal the healthcare law's coverage expansion with a comparison to an "expensive vacation home" that the nation can't afford right now.

Reason magazine blogger Peter Suderman asks if universal coverage might lead to worse outcomes.


What you might have missed on Healthwatch

HHS touts health law's Medicare benefits, avoids costs

Ryan confident Obama health reform will die

Ron Paul says Obama regulation to provide free birth control makes 'mockery' of religious right

Staffing firms urge Congress to tweak or repeal health law's employer mandate


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

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


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