HHS Overrules FDA, Will Not Make Morning After Pill an Over-the-Counter Drug

By: Wednesday December 7, 2011 10:16 am

Though the FDA supported it, the Department of Health and Human Services decided against allowing young teens access to the morning after pill in over-the-counter drugstores without a prescription. Though birth control is now available for free from doctors for anyone with health insurance, women under 17 facing an unplanned pregnancy will still have to [...]

Labor/HHS Appropriation Shows Next Stage of Congressional Budget Fight

By: Friday September 30, 2011 6:18 am

While the first battle of the Fiscal Year 2012 budget ended without incident, the next one is shaping up to be a larger struggle. Rather than an across-the-board haircut, Republicans will insist on designating particular appropriations for certain amounts of money, as long as the total hits the $1.043 trillion cap. And that means that [...]

Administration Slow-Walks the CLASS Act

By: Friday September 23, 2011 9:35 am

The CLASS Act was inserted into the Affordable Care Act as a sort of tribute to the late Ted Kennedy, the bill’s longtime champion. It enacts a federal long-term care insurance program, a kind of public option for long-term care. The Obama Administration, emails now show, didn’t like it from the beginning. And now, there [...]

Poverty, Income, Insurance Statistics Show the Ravages of the Lesser Depression

By: Tuesday September 13, 2011 10:15 am

46.2 million Americans lived in poverty in 2010, roughly 15.1% of the population, according to numbers released by the US Census Bureau today. That’s nearly one in six Americans. This is the largest number of Americans in poverty in the history that the Census has recorded the data. And the rate of poverty is the [...]

Medical Loss Ratio Requirements Working Where Applicable

By: Tuesday August 30, 2011 7:30 am

The Government Accountability Office gave a fairly glowing report about the efect of the federal medical loss ratio, a policy inserted into the Affordable Care Act by Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) that forces insurance companies to spend 80-85% of their premiums (depending on the type of coverage) on medical treatment, and to rebate customers if [...]

Federal Exchanges Face Challenge of Funding

By: Wednesday August 17, 2011 8:50 am

The Health and Human Services Department always had a trump card for resistance in the states to the Affordable Care Act. If the states didn’t want to set up an exchange, authority would revert back to the federal government, and HHS would run the exchange, setting the benefit standards and other regulations for the state. [...]

New Health Care Regulations Close Exchanges to Many Offered Unaffordable Employer Coverage

By: Monday August 15, 2011 1:48 pm

One of the major problems with the Affordable Care Act will come with the determination of what set of plans recipients can become eligible for. Under the law, Americans who make up to 133% of the federal poverty line can sign up for Medicaid. From 133%-400%, they are eligible to collect subsidies on a sliding [...]

Institute of Medicine Recommends Free Birth Control as Part of Preventive Services Plan

By: Wednesday July 20, 2011 11:49 am

The fact that the Institute of Medicine recommended that insurance plans cover all birth control for free, with no deductibles or co-pays, is definitely a big deal. The IOM recommendations are not binding, but they were requested by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to guide her determinations of essential benefits to be covered [...]

Feds Say Indiana Cannot Block Planned Parenthood Funding

By: Thursday June 2, 2011 7:40 am

The Department of Health and Human Services, along with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, have told the state of Indiana that they cannot block Planned Parenthood, a qualified provider under Medicaid, from funding, and that they would risk all of their Medicaid funding if they followed through with the policy. Indiana passed a [...]

HHS Bids for More Enrollment in High-Risk Pools By Cutting Premiums, Paperwork

By: Tuesday May 31, 2011 1:12 pm

The Department of Health and Human Services, in a show of concern about the lack of pickup of a signature early deliverable for the uninsured in the health care law, will lower the price of premiums by up to 40% in 18 states for the government’s high-risk pools. Eligibility standards will also be simplified in [...]

Gabrielle Giffords Champions Treatment for Traumatic Brain Injury for Service Members

By: Thursday April 21, 2011 10:27 am

After the tragic shooting of White House Press Secretary James Brady in the 1980s, he and his family became the most high-profile supporters of gun control in America, leading to the passage of the Brady bill and spawning the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, an organization we still see advocating today. We may be [...]

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