OVERNIGHT HEALTHCARE: House panel threatens more VA subpoenas

The House Veterans Affairs Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday over claims mismanagement at the VA may have lead to the deaths of dozens of veterans, and is warning of more subpoenas if officials fail to cooperate.

Chairman Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) has issued a subpoena demanding documents and emails between top VA officials to reveal what they knew about inaccurate lists used to hide long waits for treatment.

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So far he says the VA has not provided him with sufficient documents, which he says makes him “suspicious” they may be hiding information.

Now the committee is calling on VA officials to testify Wednesday on what the department is doing to comply with its previous subpoena and has threatened to subpoena further officials if they do not appear.

“VA has promised to make officials available to the committee May 28, but in the event they do not appear, VA will be served with a subpoena that would compel all three witnesses to testify before the committee May 30,” said the committee on Tuesday.

O-CARE EXCHANGE: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) suggested Tuesday that Kentucky’s state health exchange, Kynect, could survive if ObamaCare was repealed.

McConnell campaign spokeswoman Allison Moore said Kentucky should "decide for itself whether to keep" the exchange "or set up a different marketplace" if the healthcare law is repealed during an interview with Kentucky’s WFPL.

Last week, McConnell was criticized for saying the exchange was not part of the Affordable Care Act, the law which created the marketplace.

HEALTHCARE COSTS: While Republicans are pressing for a repealing of the ACA, the Obama administration is pushing ahead with its campaign to highlight the benefits of the healthcare law.

Senior White House officials on Tuesday said consumers and businesses are seeing healthcare costs rise more slowly thanks to Obamacare, citing public and private data.

In a blog post, Council of Economic Advisors Chairman Jason Furman pointed to a series of measurements showing that healthcare prices and premiums are increasing at historically low rates. He said the trend is partly due to ObamaCare, which contains measures intended to restrain the growth of healthcare costs.

According to the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis, the price of healthcare goods and services rose just 0.9 percent in the last year, the slowest rate of increase in the last 50 years.

ON TAP: On Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on health will markup three bills. They include: H.R. 4631, the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act, H.R. 4299, the Improving Regulatory Transparency for New Medical Therapies Act and H.R. 4709, the Ensuring Patient Access to Effective Drug Enforcement Act.

 

STATE BY STATE: 

Xerox beats HP for estimated $500M NY Medicaid deal

Insurance plan for Calif. farmworkers falls short of Obamacare rules

Feds drop $4.6M demand to fund HealthSource RI

NC legislative protesters lobby GOP leaders on Medicaid

Report: NJ's uninsurance rate tumbles

Ohio programs win funds to help moms addicted to heroin, painkillers

Abortion providers banned from La. public schools

Wisconsin abortion clinics say admitting law unneeded

 

LOBBYING REGISTRATIONS: 

Dentons US LLP/ Assurant Health

Tarplin, Downs & Young, LLC/ American Coalition for Healthcare Claims Integrity

 

 

READING LIST: 

Economic slowdown tied to rise in obesity in richer nations: OECD

Why the major test for Obamacare premiums might wait until 2017

Reform Update: Actuarial study could affect Medicaid managed-care rates

Healthcare cost-sharing works — up to a point

Insurer to pay doctors who follow cancer plan

 

WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED AT THE HILL: 

Bill would ensure access to VA hospice care

McConnell: Taxpayers should know if O-Care subsidies are abused

Investigative reporters suing CMS for Medicare Advantage data

Hospitals face O-Care uninsured funding gap

Pelosi: O-Care will be a 'wash' in the midterms

First lady says GOP school lunch nutrition cuts 'unacceptable'