OVERNIGHT HEALTH: Senate GOP balks at Medicare overhaul

Kids vs. millionaires: The advocacy organization Vote Kids launched an ad campaign Monday blasting the Republican budget proposal in the early battleground states of Iowa and New Hampshire. Read the Healthwatch story.

Evaluating FDA policies: The National Research Council lays out in a new report a framework for the Food and Drug Administration to systematically evaluate and compare the public health consequences of its decisions concerning a wide variety of products.

FDA wants fees paid earlier: The agency released a proposal Monday for new fees it will collect from the pharmaceutical industry. Drug companies pay the FDA to review their products for approval, and the healthcare reform law created a new drug class with similar system of user fees. The FDA says it wants to start collecting the money for those products earlier than it does now. Healthwatch has the story.

Don't mess with Texas: The Texas Medical Association is rising up against a proposal to repeal school-based fitness measurements and coordinated school health education.


Tuesday's agenda:

Healthcare appeals start: The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in the first two appeals of the healthcare reform law. The Richmond, Va.-based court hears arguments in both Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s lawsuit, filed the day the law was enacted, and Liberty University’s challenge, which raises First Amendment issues. 

Appeals courts in Cincinnati and Atlanta are scheduled to take up similar cases over the next few weeks. The U.S. Supreme Court opted to let the challenges work their way through the regular appeals process, meaning the high court won't get involved until October at the earliest. Read the Healthwatch preview of Tuesday's 4th Circuit arguments.

Heritage tackles the debt: The conservative Heritage Foundation unveils a proposal to balance the budget in 10 years through reforms to the big three entitlement programs (Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid) as well as changes to health insurance, federal spending, the tax code and federal budgeting operations. Heritage is one of six policy organizations selected by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation to create comprehensive debt solutions.

Norquist talks health: Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist addresses the taxes, penalties and fees in Democrats' healthcare reform law during an appearance before Rep. Michael BurgessMichael Clifton BurgessTechnical difficulties mar several remote House hearings The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Moniz says U.S. needs energy jobs coalition and Manchin says Congress is pushing Wall Street solutions that don't work for Main Street; Burr to step aside The Hill's 12:30 Report: House returns to DC for coronavirus relief MORE's (R-Texas) Congressional Health Care Caucus.

Saving TRICARE: The liberal Center for American Progress hosts the president of the Military Officers Association of America for a conversation about how to keep the military's healthcare budget under control. TRICARE costs have gone up more than 300 percent over the past decade and now consume more than 10 percent of the military's budget.


The event takes place one day before the military defends its 2012 healthcare budget request before House appropriators.

Save Our Air: The American Lung Association in California unveils a new study that calculates the public health, environmental and air quality costs of cars and trucks on California’s roads and calls for strong new car standards. 

Reading list: 

Former Kennedy health staffer John McDonough promotes "Paying for Outcomes" at Kaiser Health News.

A Tea Party favorite is breaking with the GOP on healthcare repeal, writes The Hill's Russell Berman.

Talking Points Memo ponders whether there are any pro-choice Republicans left in Congress.

The New York State Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Alliance blasts junk-food sponsorships. 

GlobalPost grades President Obama's global health plan.

Recent lobbying registrations:

Alston & Bird / Select Medical Corporation

Alston & Bird / Vibra Healthcare (operator of freestanding hospitals)

American Healthcare / American Healthcare (long-term care facilities/nursing homes)

Hospice of the Western Reserve / Hospice of the Western Reserve (hospice provider)


Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti / National PACE Association (association advancing program of all-inclusive care for the elderly)

Wheat Government Relations / MedImmune (immunization programs)

Regulatory watch:

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services published a proposed rule that sets the hospice wage index for fiscal year 2012.

Comment periods close this week on the following regulations and notices:

• State Innovation Waivers under healthcare reform — comments due Friday


• Executive Order 13563, to improve regulation and regulatory review - comments due Thursday

What you might have missed on Healthwatch:

Administration taps top lawyer for first healthcare reform appeal arguments

Conrad pursues modest Medicare cuts to draw contrast with House GOP

Medicaid might be a better target for cuts than Medicare

Citing Washington Post, GOP hits Dems over Medicare attacks


Lawmakers press Ag secretary on school lunch regulations

Comments / complaints / suggestions? Please let us know:

Julian Pecquet: jpecquet@thehill.com / 202-628-8527

Sam Baker: sbaker@thehill.com / 202-628-8351

Follow us on Twitter @hillhealthwatch