OVERNIGHT HEALTH: Healthcare reform turns 3

No 'iPhone tax': The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday said it has no plans to subject smartphones and tablets to a controversial tax in President Obama’s healthcare law. Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce Investigations subcommittee this week seized on reports that the agency could extend the healthcare law's tax on medical devices to iPhones, BlackBerrys and Android devices. But an agency official assured lawmakers on Thursday that smartphones will be exempt from the tax.

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“They would not be regulated as medical devices, therefore not subject to the medical device tax,” said Christy Foreman, director of FDA’s Office of Device Evaluation, Center for Devices and Radiological Health. Read more at RegWatch.

Counting calories: A new bipartisan House bill would ease certain nutrition reporting requirements that the food industry says are onerous and nonsensical. The Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act from Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) proposes small changes to federal regulations to allow, for example, pizza makers to provide calorie ranges for their products rather than exact counts for every possible pizza. The bill would also allow delivery-service restaurants to provide nutrition information online rather than on a menu board that would not be seen by customers. The American Pizza Community, which includes chains like Domino's, Papa John's and Pizza Hut, praised the measure Thursday as "workable" and "flexible."

'Net gain': A new report from The Urban Institute found that healthcare reform's Medicaid expansion will benefit hospitals more than harm them. Researchers studied the expected loss in private insurance dollars as newly qualified Medicaid beneficiaries switch to public coverage, which is reimbursed at a lower rate.

Using numbers from the Congressional Budget Office and its own modeling, The Urban Institute concluded that hospitals' Medicaid revenue will rise by $2.59 for every dollar lost from private coverage. The report noted that gains for hospitals "depend significantly" on whether states choose to expand Medicaid, which is optional as a result of the Supreme Court's ruling last summer and causing major fights at the state level. Read more at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which provided funding for the study.

Mental health break:
Beat the odds! Try the Kaiser Family Foundation's updated quiz on healthcare reform here.

20-week ban: A proposed amendment to the Senate budget urges Congress to criminalize some abortions in the District of Columbia based on the disputed premise that fetuses can feel pain at 20 weeks of development. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) tried to attach a similar amendment (#252) to last year's cybersecurity bill but was unsuccessful. The House rejected its own 20-week D.C. abortion ban under suspension of the rules in July. Read more at Healthwatch.


Friday's agenda

The National Association of Community Health Centers will wrap up its policy and issues forum.

Microsoft will host a roundtable on the future of HIPAA and the cloud.


State by state

Minn. governor signs bill creating health insurance exchange

States tackle mental illness and gun ownership

Fla. Senate takes first step on Medicaid alternative

Dems say Iowa Senate will soon OK Medicaid expansion


Lobbying registrations

McGruieWoods Consulting / Touro College and University System


Reading list

Obama health law anniversary finds two Americas

FDA to issue mobile app guidance before Oct. 1, official says [free registration required]

High salt consumption tied to 2.3 million heart deaths

US TB rates reach all-time low, but resistance a threat


What you might have missed on Healthwatch

Sebelius: Health law has lowered costs, slowed premium hikes

GOP previews life sciences priorities

HHS touts savings for seniors under health law

Reid marks third anniversary of healthcare law

Dem leader urges media to challenge health law 'myths'

Bachmann turns tables, says ObamaCare 'kills' women, children

Boustany pushes IRS for details on health law work

GOP lawmakers press for study of health law's effect on wages


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

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

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