OVERNIGHT HEALTH: Will employers drop healthcare coverage?

“What’s next from Ways and Means Republicans? A report asserting that employers could save money by serving only hot dogs in their cafeteria?” Ways and Means Democrats said. “According to the logic of this so-called report, businesses could have ‘saved’ even more money if they dropped employee health coverage years ago, which is perfectly legal and carries no penalty.”

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Things that make the DSCC happy: Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) campaigned as the man who would kill healthcare reform, but he’s taking advantage of the law to keep his daughter on his healthcare plan. A spokeswoman for Brown’s opponent, Elizabeth Warren, called Brown a hypocrite, but the senator said there’s nothing wrong with using one popular provision of a law he still wants to repeal. Healthwatch has more.

SCOTUS slipping: The Supreme Court will inevitably face tough political criticism when it rules on the Affordable Care Act, no matter what it decides. And it’s headed into that firestorm with its public approval at an all-time low. A new Pew poll out Tuesday said the court’s favorability rating has fallen to 52 percent, the lowest on record. Our story is here.

Difficulties with duals: States have a hard time getting the data they need as they try to improve care for so-called “dual-eligibles” — patients who are on both Medicare and Medicaid. The National Association of Medicaid Directors is out with a new report on the difficulties states face in accessing Medicare data, which it says would help state officials figure out better ways to care for the extremely expensive dual-eligible population. The new white paper is online here.

That was fast: A U.S. appeals court said Tuesday that Texas can bar Planned Parenthood from receiving funds under a state healthcare program because the organization performs abortions. The decision reversed a day-old ruling by U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel, who on Monday halted a 2011 law passed by the state's Republican-controlled Legislature excluding Planned Parenthood from the state's Women's Health Program.

Healthwatch has the lowdown.

Drug safety: Some drugs need to be monitored for safety risks after they’re approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) said Tuesday. The IOM also recommended that the FDA make a single, comprehensive record for each drug available to the public that documents safety concerns and regulatory alerts. Read the Healtwatch story.


State by state

Georgia is trying to let residents buy insurance across state lines, but insurance companies aren’t interested.

Economists say Massachusetts residents could see higher salaries under a state bill to control healthcare costs.

Lobbying registrations

The Picard Group / Acadiana Management Group
Nelson, Mullis, Riley & Scarborough / Hemophilia of Georgia
Greenberg Traurig / Cellertant Therapeutics
Greenberg Traurig / Windsor Health Group


Reading list

Federal officials want to know whether “stop loss” policies could drive up the cost of insurance, Bloomberg reports.

Kaiser Health News says patient advocates are worried about states moving too quickly as they try to cut their spending on dual-eligibles.

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HHS touts health law as expanding access for millions to clinics



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