Conrad Goes There with Preference for Negotiating Drug Prices in Medicare

By: Friday February 18, 2011 1:08 pm

A lot of people bash the retiring Kent Conrad, and I happily join them. But I will say this – the guy occasionally acts like a true believer. Sure, he’ll vote for budget-busting tax cuts and then call for reduction to the deficit. You can look under any rock on Capitol Hill and find a [...]

Sebelius Gives Green Light to States to Cut Medicaid Benefits

By: Friday February 4, 2011 10:03 am

I continue to think that the greatest threat to the coverage expansion in the health care law is the resistance from state governors to the expanded Medicaid requirements. Even though the federal government will pay for virtually all of the costs of expansion, governors in cash-strapped states don’t want to maintain their current level of [...]

Democrats Move to Outflank Republicans on Health Care

By: Monday January 24, 2011 8:56 am

Democrats in the Senate may be warming to a confrontational vote to repeal the health care bill, while attempting to embarrass Republicans along the way. If Republicans try to bring repeal to the floor as an amendment to a separate bill – a non-germane amendment, which never gets discussed in talking about Senate rules – [...]

Deficit Commission Unlikely to Tackle Health Care, But Someone Will Need To Eventually

By: Thursday September 9, 2010 11:08 am

I’m going to be counter-intuitive and say that I don’t fear the cat food commission mucking around with Medicare at all, and that this story from Brian Beutler about the internal deliberations only confirms my suspicions. As you can see, the Democrats on the commission don’t want to deal with health care in any way [...]

Brian Schweitzer Seeks Waiver To Import Drugs To Montana From Canada

By: Wednesday March 31, 2010 12:37 pm

Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer has always been right at the forefront of the drug re-importation debate. In previous runs for Governor he highlighted the issue by actually busing senior citizens into Canada to purchase cheaper pills. A few weeks ago, Schweitzer sent a letter to the HHS Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, calling for a waiver to [...]

Corporations Appeal To Make Tax-Deductible Subsidies Permanent

By: Tuesday March 30, 2010 12:29 pm

Upton Sinclair once said that “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it.” It is similarly difficult to get the mass public to understand something when the job of the biggest and powerful interests depends on not having them understand it. Case in point: this [...]

PhRMA Threatening Opposition To Health Care Bill Over Two-Year Drop In Biologics Exclusion

By: Friday January 15, 2010 3:02 pm

As I noted earlier, the President used his closed-door meeting with the House Democratic caucus yesterday to announce his support for dropping the exclusivity period for biologic drugs by at least two years. A source familiar with the meeting, whose professional position does not allow public communication with the press, told me that Anna Eshoo, [...]

Dorgan Basically Adding To The Hold On Ben Bernanke

By: Thursday January 7, 2010 6:40 am

Last night, Byron Dorgan gave his first interview since announcing his retirement, and in that appearance with Ed Schultz, he made two policy vows. First, he said that he would pursue his bill to allow for the safe reimportation of prescription drugs from abroad, and that he would get it passed in 2010: DORGAN: Well, [...]

Obama Campaigned On Lots Of Things Not Reflected In Health Care Bills

By: Wednesday December 23, 2009 8:01 am

The fallout over President Obama’s comment that he did not campaign on the public option continued today. FDL’s slinkerwink found video evidence of the President discussing a “public plan” in 2007, ironically as part of a presentation to Planned Parenthood about reproductive care. In it, he claimed that reproductive care was basic care and that [...]

White House Commits To Drug Reimportation In The Future

By: Monday December 21, 2009 8:21 am

After the White House helped scuttle a vote on drug reimportation in the Senate to comply with a backroom deal with the pharmaceutical industry, senior adviser to the President David Axelrod promised that they would take up reimportation at a later date. Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” David Axelrod, Obama’s top political aide, [...]

Dorgan Exploring Mystery Of Who Killed His Reimportation Legislation

By: Thursday December 17, 2009 1:16 pm

Sen. Byron Dorgan is unhappy that his amendment to the Senate health care bill on reimportation, which at one point appeared to have the votes for passage, failed after a late intervention from the Democratic leadership to preserve a deal with the drug industry. But Dorgan goes much further in pointing fingers specifically at the [...]

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