By Sam Baker and Elise Viebeck - 01/22/13 11:50 PM EST
Healthwatch has more on Smith's comments. And we'll have more to say in the morning on abortion and President Obama's second-term agenda.
SCOTUS hits hospitals: Here's one way to cut entitlement spending — get the Supreme Court do it. The high court ruled Tuesday that Medicare doesn't have to pay billions of dollars in hospital payments because the hospitals filed their claims too late. SCOTUSBlog has a much fuller explanation here.
Tavenner's limbo continues: Marilyn Tavenner, President Obama's nominee to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, didn't get a hearing last year before the Senate Finance Committee, despite an endorsement from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.). Will she get one now? Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) didn't have a good answer when asked about Tavenner in a scrum of reporters Tuesday.
Mandate repeal: It's about the longest of long shots, but Senate Republicans are still fighting the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate. Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) introduced a bill Tuesday to repeal the mandate, calling it affront to the Constitution despite the Supreme Court's ruling that the policy is constitutional. Healthwatch has more.
New in mental health: Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) promised new bills to improve mental health in the United States at a congressional briefing Tuesday. He will bring forward the Mental Health in Schools Act, a measure from Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.) that provides funding for on-site mental health professionals in schools, and the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Act, a bill to "address when the criminal justice system and mental illness collide."
"Too many people in our prisons who have mental health issues are getting treatment that doesn't help them or makes them worse," Franken said. Of the schools measure, he said, "This bill isn't just about preventing violence; it's about making all of our kids and communities happier and healthier."
Franken made his remarks at a panel discussion sponsored by the House Democratic Gun Violence Prevention Task Force and led by Napolitano. Rep. Ron Barber (D-Ariz.), who was wounded alongside former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) in 2011, also spoke, touting his Mental Health First Aid Act. The event took place shortly after a gunman opened fire at a Texas college Tuesday.
Busy day: In addition to approving its rules, the House Energy and Commerce Committee advanced three healthcare bills on Tuesday by unanimous consent. The measures would reauthorize an act that supports medical residency programs in children's hospitals for five years; ease the process for military veterans to become emergency medical technicians; and allow the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to fund pediatric research networks comprised of several institutions committed to cooperating on their efforts. Versions of all three bills were previously approved by the full House, according to a press memo.
It's official: The Senate Republican Conference ratified Sens. Orrin Hatch (Utah), Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) and Susan Collins (Maine) as the GOP leaders of the Finance; Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; and Special Aging committees. The selections were expected and now move to the full Senate, which will adopt committee resolutions to make the picks final. Commenting on his appointment, Alexander praised Tennessee for "helping lead the country in healthcare" and promised to lend a "strong voice in reducing regulations."
The Kaiser Family Foundation will release its annual state-by-state survey on Medicaid policy, followed by a briefing.
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network will release a poll on the healthcare law's Medicaid expansion.
State by state
Chamber Hill Strategies / GlaxoSmithKline
Alston & Bird / BNN Holdings
SLC Health Strategies / Eisai
SLC Health Strategies / Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals
SLC Health Strategies / Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company
SLC Health Strategies / Cubist Pharmaceuticals
Protests mark anniversary of landmark abortion ruling
The geography of abortion access
A round-up of abortion pieces from The Atlantic, starting in 1965
How Roe v. Wade changed abortion rights
Opinion: Insurance brokers prep clients for 'ObamaCare' sticker shock
Poor U.S. hospitals likeliest to pay readmission fine
What you might have missed on Healthwatch
Tuesday: Biohazard bill in the House
House votes to reauthorize bio, chemical countermeasure programs
Grassley pushes White House on Sunshine Act regs
Harkin health bill orders stack of federal prevention efforts
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