By Sam Baker and Elise Viebeck - 07/22/13 10:41 PM EDT
Oprah to the rescue: Oprah Winfrey might help the Obama administration promote ObamaCare, The Washington Post reported Monday. The Post said a representative for Oprah attended a White House meeting of celebrities and organizations that might be willing to help promote the health law. The administration had previously reached out to the NFL about a partnership to encourage people to enroll in the law’s new coverage options, but the football league wasn’t interested. Instead, the administration is turning to a stable of entertainers who endorsed Obama in 2012.
Representatives for Bon Jovi, Amy Poehler and Comedy Central were also at the White House meeting.
Read more from the Post.
Sebelius in Texas: Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Monday that she's "hopeful" Texas will eventually expand its Medicaid program under ObamaCare.
“We are still hopeful that the decision about Medicaid can continue to be looked at because the return on investment for Texas is huge — about $90 billion in federal money that could come into the state to help some of the poorest uninsured Texans take advantage of coverage,” she told the Dallas Morning News during a visit to the state.
Gov. Rick Perry (R) and Texas GOP lawmakers have repeatedly refused to participate in launching the Affordable Care Act. While it's unlikely they will change their minds about Medicaid, Monday's visit from Sebelius highlights the importance of Texas in the law's rollout. Enroll America's Anne Filipic published her own appeal to Texans Sunday, urging them to take up benefits under ObamaCare in order to remain "healthy and financially secure." The state has the country's highest percentage of uninsured residents.
Read Healthwatch's post on Filipic's op-ed here.
‘Doc fix’ markup convenes: House Republicans began work Monday on a bill to permanently replace Medicare’s payment formula for doctors. The Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee opened its markup of a long-term “doc fix” bill, which so far has received broad bipartisan support. But the controversial part of the fix is how to pay for it, not whether to do it, and lawmakers haven’t crossed that bridge yet.
“The time of temporary fixes and kicking the can down the road has ended. The bipartisan committee draft before us today permanently repeals the SGR and places us on a path to paying for innovation and quality, not volume of services, and puts doctors not bureaucrats, back in charge of medicine,” subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) said in his opening statement.
The markup continues Tuesday.
Judge blocks abortion law: A federal judge on Monday temporarily blocked North Dakota’s anti-abortion law from taking effect as scheduled. The state’s law prohibits abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which would make the procedure illegal as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, before some women even know they’re pregnant.
“The State has extended an invitation to an expensive court battle over a law restricting abortions that is a blatant violation of the constitutional guarantees afforded to all women," Judge Daniel Hovland said as he blocked the law from taking effect.
Healthwatch has more.
Two subpanels of the House Education and the Workforce Committee will hold a hearing on the Obama administration's decision to delay the employer mandate.
The Senate Judiciary subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights will hold a hearing on pay-for-delay deals by the pharmaceutical industry.
Members of the American Physical Therapy Association will meet with lawmakers and staff to discuss the "doc fix" and therapy caps in Medicare.
Pro-abortion-rights group All Above All will hold a briefing Tuesday on barriers to abortion coverage and services, with a focus on low-income women.
State by state
Illinois governor signs Medicaid expansion into law
Surgeon loses Medicaid funding after HIV discrimination
Republicans in Arizona are at odds on Medicaid
Winning Strategies Washington / Thanexus
Nyprocoa / Twin Rivers Paper Company
Foley Hoag / Trius Therapeutics
Foley Hoag / Thermo Fisher Scientific
Foley Hoag / Intuitive Surgical
ADS Ventures / Magellan Diagnostics
The Accord Group / Guardian Automotive
Ryan, MacKinnon, Vasapoli and Berzok / New Leaf Africa
Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville / American Physical Therapy Association
Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville / American Occupational Therapy Association
Ms. Margaret McGlinch / Minnesota Society of Anesthesiologists
Liberty Partners Group / Hall Render Stark Law Correction Coalition
Liberty Partners Group / CSHM
Hogan Lovells / Heartware
Gary and Mary West Health Institute / self-registration
What you might have missed on Healthwatch
Report: Obama to meet with pro-White House advocacy group
Week ahead: Lawmakers take on Medicare 'doc fix'
Tea Party group slams vulnerable Democrats on ObamaCare votes
GOP wants more information on premiums under ObamaCare
Medical groups resist possible standards loosening
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