OVERNIGHT HEALTHCARE: Vitter warms to Medicaid

Republican Sen. David Vitter, who is running for governor of Louisiana, expressed support Monday for ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion under certain circumstances. http://bit.ly/1sjC4rV

Vitter, an outspoken critic of the healthcare law, reportedly said he would support extending free healthcare to low-income adults as long as it didn't draw resources away from other priorities.

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The two-term senator also suggested the expansion could coincide with a push to improve the quality of Louisiana's Medicaid program.

Vitter's stance puts him at odds with more conservative Republicans, including outgoing Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) and Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), who is running to unseat Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.).

 

Sebelius speaks: Former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is scheduled to make comments Tuesday morning at the start of the “State of Enrollment” conference being held by Enroll America, a healthcare organization with close White House ties.

The group released an extensive report ahead of the three-day conference on what it learned while enrolling previously uninsured consumers into new healthcare plans under ObamaCare.http://bit.ly/1vvWCM0

The report says the most effective way to persuade people to buy health insurance was to tell them about financial assistance available through subsidies and tax breaks.

 

O-Care subsidies in question: The Obama administration is reaching out to hundreds of thousands of new ObamaCare enrollees to ensure their eligibility for premium subsidies was determined correctly.http://bit.ly/1lKnogA

The effort was undertaken after federal health officials discovered rampant discrepancies between official records and applications for coverage on the exchanges.

Roughly 2 million people with mismatched income, citizenship or immigration status information are being asked to provide additional documentation to the government.

The administration has said that in many cases, federal records are simply out of date, and most discrepancies are being resolved in consumers' favor.

 

False advertising in Oz?: Television celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz will testify Tuesday at a Senate hearing on false and deceptive advertising for weight-loss products.

The host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” was invited by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), chairwoman of the Commerce subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance, to talk about companies that may be pushing fake claims about their products. http://bit.ly/UGyqdh

The Federal Trade Commission is suing a Florida-based company, Pure Green Coffee, alleging that it falsely claimed Oz had endorsed its product. The FTC says the company published fake news websites to push unverified claims to market its product.

 

U.S comes in last: The United States ranks last in a new report that considers the efficiency and quality of healthcare systems in 11 industrialized nations. http://bit.ly/1n6cPRC

The analysis by the Commonwealth Fund found that despite spending more money, the U.S. healthcare system was the most inefficient and Americans have the hardest time affording care they need.

It said the U.S. spent $8,508 per person on healthcare in 2011. By comparison, the United Kingdom spent only $3,406 per person and ranked higher than the U.S. in providing safe and quality care.

However, authors of the study expect the U.S. standing to improve because of ObamaCare. They say as the new healthcare law takes full effect more people will have access to care, especially the poor.

The study was done before most of the new healthcare law was put into place.

 

Tuesday’s schedule:

Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation's subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance will discuss false advertising of weight-loss products.

Enroll America will kick off a conference on healthcare enrollment strategies.

 

State by state:

Montana Medicaid expansion sponsors scramble for signatures: http://gftrib.com/1n6d1R4

Florida governor signs law allowing limited medical marijuana use: http://reut.rs/T29YRV

Antibiotic-resistant ‘nightmare germs’ found across Fla.: http://bit.ly/1n6d9jp

ObamaCare credited for big drop in Minnesota’s uninsured rate: http://bit.ly/1ltVdxE

NY grapples with cost of life-saving Hepatitis C drug: http://bit.ly/1lsNGVY

Quinn signs Illinois Medicaid cuts restoration: http://bit.ly/1uyWPf6

  

Lobbying registration:

Jake Perry + Partners/ Allergan, Inc.

Ryan MacKinnon Vasapoli and Berzok LLP FKA Ryan Phillips Utrecht and MacKinnon/ PrescribeWellness

Levick Strategic Communications/ eHealth, Inc.

  

Reading list:

UnitedHealth continues to cut Medicare Advantage providers: http://bit.ly/1n6duTp

Drugmaker Shire hires Citi as it braces for takeover bids: http://reut.rs/1kYOPn4

Artificial pancreas shows promise in diabetes test: http://nyti.ms/1nfLpdA

Health data geeks get their day: http://bit.ly/1pacsdh

 

What you might have missed at The Hill:

Justices rule for SBA List in speech case: http://bit.ly/1sjCoXC

Poll: RomneyCare support steady despite glitches: http://bit.ly/1lzGTrP

CMS launches campaign to promote O-Care: http://bit.ly/T2aPSQ

Most people satisfied with healthcare system: http://bit.ly/1nh8mgi