OVERNIGHT HEALTHCARE: House preps for hearing on GOP lawsuit

The House Rules Committee on Wednesday will hold a hearing on Republicans’ lawsuit against President Obama for delaying the health law’s employer mandate.

The panel will meet at 10 a.m. and hear from legal experts before likely moving forward with a resolution approving the lawsuit. GOP lawmakers intend to approve the lawsuit before the August recess.

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Republicans have accused Obama of overreaching with executive actions and the lawsuit will again focus attention on his controversial healthcare law ahead of November’s midterms.

The lawsuit focuses on the administration’s decision to repeatedly postpone the employer mandate, which requires businesses to provide health insurance to workers or pay a penalty.

“Congress’ ability to effectively represent the American people is severely restricted when the executive unilaterally chooses to create its own laws,” said Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) last week after introducing the draft resolution.

"Upholding our system of laws and separation of powers is not a partisan issue. Anyone who believes in checks and balances should be concerned with the President’s unconstitutional exercise of power,” he added.

The White House and Democrats have mocked the lawsuit, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) calling it a “sham” and claiming that television host Judge Judy would toss it out in “half a second.”

 

GOP TO UNVEIL BIRTH CONTROL BILL: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Republicans plan to propose a bill that would ensure businesses cannot prevent workers from buying their own contraception.

The GOP proposal is an attempt by Senate Republicans to push back on an emotional political issue that Democrats have made central to their midterm election campaign.

The Supreme Court recently ruled in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby that some employers don’t have to provide free contraception coverage to workers on religious grounds.

On Wednesday, the Senate will hold the first procedural vote on S. 2578, a Democratic bill from Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) that attempts to reverse the ruling.

In response, Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) plan to hold a news conference Wednesday with various faith-leaders to voice objection to the Democratic bill which they say would reduce religious liberty by amending the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Read more http://bit.ly/1roV5pv.

 

CBO PROJECTS BENEFITS OF O-CARE COST CONTROLS: A new report from the Congressional Budget Office says cost control measures in ObamaCare will help reduce the growth in federal healthcare spending over the next 25 years.

The report says federal healthcare spending will be equal to 8 percent of GDP by 2039, down from a projection last year of 8.1 percent. The savings would amount to $250 billion in today’s dollars, CBO found.

Overall spending on Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and ObamaCare insurance subsidies are expected to rocket due to a growing elderly population, more people gaining insurance coverage and the cost of new medical technologies. However, ObamaCare’s cost control provisions will help rein in some of the projected growth. Read more http://bit.ly/1yo41OR.

 

COMMITTEE APPROVES HEALTHCARE BILLS: A House committee on Tuesday approved by voice vote a bill that would require regulators to make a swift decision on whether to approve new sunscreen products available outside the United States.

The Sunscreen Innovation Act would require the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to quickly review and approve or deny sunscreen ingredients, some of which have been waiting on approval for a decade.

The committee also approved a bill to classify some anabolic steroids as controlled substances; a bill that requires continued federal research of stillbirth and sudden unexpected infant death; a bill to reauthorize programs that support emergency medical care for children; and a bill to continue funding research on muscular dystrophy. Read more http://bit.ly/1l0XOjM.

 

CDC SAFETY LAPSES: The House Energy and Commerce Committee subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations is holding a hearing Wednesday over recent safety breaches at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Lawmakers intended to grill CDC Director Thomas Frieden over a recent incident where agency scientists moved live anthrax to a less secure lab potentially exposing scores of people to the deadly bacteria.

Since the hearing was announced, the CDC has revealed a slew of past safety lapses including mishandling of avian flu contaminated samples, improper safety procedures to decontaminate labs, leaving anthrax samples in unsecured areas, and the discovery of decades old smallpox virus samples found in the back of an NIH fridge.

 

WEDNESDAY’S SCHEDULE:

The House Rules Committee will discuss a draft resolution allowing the House to sue President Obama for postponing ObamaCare’s employer mandate.

The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hold a hearing to talk about recent safety lapses at the CDC including an anthrax scare.

The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Health will hold a hearing on the verification process used by the healthcare marketplaces to determine subsidies for consumers.

The Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee will hold a hearing to discuss the state of the VA healthcare system amid a scandal over fraudulent wait times and improper handling of benefit claims.

The Coalition for the Life Sciences is holding a briefing on "Embryonic Stem Cell Research: Advances and Potential."

 

STATE BY STATE:

Oregon Republican proposes alternative to home health cuts: http://stjr.nl/1p4qFGF

TennCare director submits plan to correct deficiencies: http://bit.ly/1mIq92T

Nevada's healthcare exchange still dealing with 'a lot of errors': http://bit.ly/1tOrZUN

Flaws found in health exchange coming to Maryland: http://bit.ly/U8jV0B

$204M Obamacare grant reduces Hawaii's uninsured population just 2.75 percent: http://bit.ly/Wg3Yaq

 

LOBBYING REGISTRATION:  

Cozen O'Connor Public Strategies/ Amerihealth Caritas Health Plan

Cozen O'Connor Public Strategies/ Independence Blue Cross

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP/ American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP / Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP / Welch Allyn, Inc.

Rock & Associates/ Town & Country Compounding and Consulting

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP / Asian American Hotel Owners Association

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP / Ranbaxy Inc.

McAllister & Quinn, LLC/ Love, Hope, Strength Foundation

Mr. John Coster/ Horizon Government Affairs

Nelson, Mullins, Riley & Scarborough/ Phoenix Thera-Lase Systems, LLC

Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications/ Myomo, Inc.

Stanton Park Group/ ScribeAmerica

The Paul Laxalt Group/ The Rogosin Institute

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP / American College of Gastroenterology

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP / CHRISTUS Health System

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP / Coalition for Excellence in Medication Monitoring

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP / Kidney Care Council

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP / Kidney Care Partners

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP / PharMEDium Services, LLC

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP / WageWorks

Capitol Advocacy Partners/ South Orange County Community College District

Crossroads Strategies, LLC/ Allergan, Inc.

 

READING LIST:  

WHO: Death toll from West Africa Ebola outbreak jumps to 603: http://reut.rs/1slm0Fj

Even with Obamacare, shopping for health insurance isn’t as easy as buying a plane ticket: http://wapo.st/1jMneHa

A spoonful of medicine may put children at risk: http://nyti.ms/1juW5In

The Obamacare surge? No sign of pent-up doctor demand yet: http://nbcnews.to/W8mvVZ

 

WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED AT THE HILL: 

Report: ObamaCare assisters 'key' to 2015 enrollment: http://bit.ly/1ntWEx7

Poll: 4 in 5 say $1,000-a-pill drug cost ‘unacceptable’: http://bit.ly/1mfgoEo

Pelosi: Hobby Lobby bill ‘as personal as it gets’: http://bit.ly/1yoieeI

Reid blasts GOP for declaring ‘victory’ for women: http://bit.ly/U8m2Bw

Warren vows to fight ‘backward-looking ideologues’ who want to limit birth control access: http://bit.ly/1wshaUu

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