OVERNIGHT HEALTH: Left stands against raising Medicare age

The top 10 healthiest states were, in order: Vermont, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Connecticut, Utah, New Jersey, Maine and Rhode Island. Read more about the study, which was sponsored by United Health Foundation, the American Public Health Association and the Partnership for Prevention, at USA Today.

Durbin on device tax:
Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) repeated his support Tuesday for delaying the healthcare law's medical device tax. Durbin was part of a group of senators that wrote to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Monday asking to keep the tax from taking effect on Jan. 1.

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Speaking with reporters, Durbin said "I have met with medical device manufacturers in my state. I think many of them will face some serious hardships when it comes to their competitive edge and research ... I have also told them quite frankly if we are going to walk away from this revenue we are going to have to find it from another source."

He added that medical device makers have made a stronger case than others facing tax increases under the Affordable Care Act.

Cuts, cuts, cuts: One Voice Against Cancer (OVAC), a new advocacy coalition, warned this week that the sequester would "devastate" federal cancer research efforts. In a memo to reporters, the group estimated that sequester cuts at the National Institutes of Health would reduce cancer research by more than $450 million and result in an estimated 2,300 fewer research grants overall.

"Most troubling is the myriad of exciting opportunities in cancer research that could potentially be lost under this uncertain future," the group wrote. "Today’s progress in research and promising scientific opportunities require a sustained commitment in order for them to bear any fruit that will benefit cancer patients in the future."

OVAC includes the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and Susan G. Komen for the Cure Advocacy Alliance.

Fly-in alert: The American Health Care Association (AHCA) will continue its push against Medicare cuts in the sequester with a Capitol Hill fly-in starting Wednesday. Hundreds of owners, operators and administrators from nursing homes will push lawmakers on therapy caps extensions, Medicaid provider assessments and healthcare cuts in the sequester. States represented will be Utah, Florida, Ohio, Indiana, New York, Maryland, Montana, South Dakota and California. Read past coverage of the AHCA at Healthwatch. 


Wednesday's agenda

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a hearing on testing for human growth hormone in the National Football League.

The House Ways and Means subcommittee on Human Resources will hold a hearing on reducing child deaths due to maltreatment.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will hold a news conference on protecting Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and veterans benefits. Members of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare will be present.

The Campaign to End Obesity will hold a workshop for congressional staff in identifying policy solutions for addressing U.S. weight gain. 


State by state

Perry wants to ban abortion after 20 weeks, cites 'fetal pain'

Study finds gap in Calif. hospitals' health reform preparedness

Accretive cleared by Vermont regulators

Maryland reports second death in meningitis outbreak

Abortion restrictions pass in Michigan in Blue Cross bill

Texas AG to look into cancer grant


Lobbying registrations

Mercury/Clark & Weinstock / Virtua Health

APCO Worldwide / The Cook Group


Reading list

Novo bets on high-price niche for obesity drug

GAO hits Medicaid on waste

Everything you need to know about Chained CPI in one post

When a plan overpays for a service, is a patient responsible for a refund?


What you might have missed on Healthwatch

Childhood obesity rates tick down in major cities

Study: Chronic illness on the rise in Medicare

Democrats question safety of 'Brazilian Blowout' hair treatment


Comments / complaints / suggestions?


Please let us know:

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

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

Follow us on Twitter @hillhealthwatch

—Erik Wasson contributed.

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