OVERNIGHT HEALTHCARE: HHS touts O-Care drug cost savings

The Obama administration says cost-saving measures in ObamaCare have reduced the burden of prescription drug coverage and saved seniors and people with disabilities $11.5 billion since 2010.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), 8.2 million seniors and people with disabilities saved an average of $1,407 since 2010 through ObamaCare rebates and discounts to close the prescription drug “donut hole.”

Medicare prescription drug plans have a limit on how much they pay for medication. Once that limit is reached recipients are required to pay for their drug costs out of pocket before catastrophic coverage can kick in. This gap in prescription drug coverage is known as the “donut hole."

Under Obamacare, recipients in the donut hole get a rebate or discount from the government to help them save on prescription drug costs. The administration says it aims to increase how much it gives in rebates and discounts to close the donut holes by 2020. Read more here: http://bit.ly/1zrJsBV.


House Dem presses Perry on Medicaid expansion: The ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee is seeking documents from Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) about his decision to refuse the Medicaid expansion under ObamaCare.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) wrote to Perry, a possible presidential contender in 2016, and two other Republican governors requesting information about their rejection of expanded healthcare coverage for the poor.

“In contrast to your Republican colleagues, you have strongly opposed expanding Medicaid for the constituents of your state, stating: ‘It’s like putting 1,000 more people on the Titanic when you knew what was going to happen,’” Cummings wrote.

Cummings asked Perry, Florida Gov. Rick Scott and North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory to provide copies of any studies or reports that were compiled to help them make a decision on the Medicaid expansion.

“In order to better understand the basis for your opposition, I request that you provide by August 22, 2014, copies of any state-specific analyses, studies, or reports that you ordered, requested or relied on to inform your decision,” writes Cummings. Read more here: http://bit.ly/WM0z3u.


House passes prescription drug abuse bill: From The Hill’s Cristina Marcos: “The House on Tuesday passed legislation by voice vote to establish enforcement standards for prescription drug abuse.

“Specifically, the measure would amend the Controlled Substances Act to modify the definition of ‘imminent danger to the public health or safety’ so that it applies to drugs that pose present or foreseeable health risks.

“The bill would also allow prescription drug companies registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration to submit a ‘corrective action plan’ before a drug is suspended.

“Members of both parties said the legislation would help combat abuse of prescription drugs.” Read more here: http://bit.ly/UJ3UOW.


Wednesday’s schedule:

The Senate Special Committee on Aging will hold a hearing titled, “Admitted or Not? The Impact of Medicare Observation Status on Seniors.”


State by state:

NC House, Senate leaders outline budget deal: http://bit.ly/1tXv5lE

8,000 Minnesotans get false notice of healthcare cancellation: http://bit.ly/UA9B1G

Appeals court says Miss. abortion law unconstitutional: http://nydn.us/WM3xoF


Reading list:

Sovaldi likely to cost Medicare billions: http://bit.ly/1nS39jo

Appeals court rejects tax challenge to ObamaCare: http://bit.ly/1rZvqon

Legalizing pot has not spurred use among US teens, study finds: http://reut.rs/1o040NI