OVERNIGHT HEALTH: Support for repeal fades

Romney and Ryan’s Medicare plan was unpopular, but toward the end of the race Romney and Obama were nearly running even on healthcare and Medicare issues. Ryan said the GOP ticket lost because of high Democratic turnout, especially in urban areas. The Hill’s story is here.

Speaker Ryan? There’s one thing Ryan definitely hasn’t lost: his standing with conservatives. In a blog post at RedState, conservative commentator Erik Erickson wonders whether the right should ditch Boehner and elect Ryan Speaker, in part because of Boehner’s post-election healthcare statements.

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“We know he now doesn’t even want to fight Obamacare, calling it the ‘law of the land.’ We know he only walked back that statement because of the outrage that ensued ... House Republicans should think very carefully if the faux-tanned face of John Boehner is the face they want for their party in the next two years. They should consider Paul Ryan as their Speaker,” Erickson wrote.

Dolan still fighting: Catholics won't stop fighting the Obama administration's contraception mandate, Cardinal Timothy Dolan reportedly said Tuesday. The Associated Press reported that Dolan, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the church will not comply with the mandate and will continue challenging it in court. Read the Healthwatch story.

Drugs are expensive: Fifty-five drugs accounted for about 85 percent of Medicare’s spending on Part B drugs, the Government Accountability Office said Tuesday. Part B drugs are administered by a doctor, not taken at home, and the class includes some especially costly products as well as some of the most widely used drugs. About 15 million seniors received the flu vaccine in 2010, making it one of the 55 most expensive drugs, while a pair of biological drugs secured their place on the list through a $217,000 per year price tag. The GAO report is here.


Wednesday's agenda

The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing on the national outbreak of meningitis.

Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) will hold a press conference calling for action to strengthen oversight of compounding pharmacies. 


State by state

Nevada quietly moves ahead on health law

Medicaid changes put lodging for 2,000 mental disabled at risk in NC

Cardinal lauds defeat of doctor-assisted suicide bill in Massachusetts


Lobbying registrations

The Federal Group / Nomir Medical Technologies

The Federal Group / Dental Trade Alliance


Reading list

US lowering rate of premature births, but slowly

FDA seeks stronger authority on eve of meningitis hearings

Report: FDA wanted to close Mass. pharmacy in 2003


What you might have missed on Healthwatch

HHS announces 'innovation fellows'

Ala. governor rejects state exchange, Medicaid expansion



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

Elise Viebeck: eviebeck@thehill.com / 202-628-8523

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