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.


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 McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi remains firm despite new impeachment push Iraq War looms over Trump battle with Iran 2020 Dems break political taboos by endorsing litmus tests MORE (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 suggested Tuesday that Kentucky’s state health exchange, Kynect, could survive if ObamaCare was repealed.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should "decide for itself whether to keep" the exchange "or set up a different marketplace" if the healthcare law is repealed during an interview with Kentucky’s WFPL.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 FurmanJason FurmanTrump looks for longer boost from economy US economy grew at 3.2 percent in first quarter, exceeding expectations The Hill's Morning Report - Dems contemplate big election and court reforms MORE 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.



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Dentons US LLP/ Assurant Health

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




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