Week ahead: Obama nominee to face Senate panel

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Four congressional committees will examine the document in follow-up hearings Thursday, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will testify before the House Ways and Means Committee on the budget on Friday.
 
On Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing to consider Tavenner’s nomination to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The former Virginia Health secretary has been acting administrator for CMS since 2011, when her predecessor, Donald Berwick, stepped down.
 
The rest of the week will be split between federal birth-control policy, medical research advocacy and animal drug user fee legislation.
 
Monday concludes public comment period on the Obama administration’s birth-control mandate, a development that is likely to prompt loud messaging from both sides of the debate.
 
Also Monday, researchers and advocates from nearly 200 organizations will gather on the grounds of the Carnegie Library in Washington, D.C., to oppose sequestration cuts to medical research.
 
The rally will feature remarks from Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), as well as National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins and an 18-foot-tall inflatable microscope.
 
The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Health will convene Tuesday to consider reauthorizing key animal drug user fee legislation — the Animal Drug User Fee Act and the Animal Generic Drug User Fee Act.
 
Both laws are set to expire at the end of this year, and coinciding with the hearing, advocates will lobby Congress to curb the use of antibiotics in livestock production. Activists will also hold a briefing Tuesday on Capitol Hill in cooperation with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.).
 
On Thursday, top healthcare policy players will unveil new recommendations for improving healthcare delivery, saving money and bettering patient outcomes. Karen Ignagni, president of America’s Health Insurance Plans, and Ron Pollack, head of Families USA, will join several other leaders for a breakfast at the National Press Club, where they will discuss a compromise approach to further healthcare reforms.
 
Also Thursday, the House Energy and Commerce Health subcommittee will hold a hearing on Medicare’s benefit design. The event will include testimony from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.