In an emergency session of Congress that cut into summer recess, the House on Tuesday approved a $26.1 billion federal aid package intended to help states bridge budget gaps and preserve teaching jobs.
The House passed the measure 247-161, clearing it for the signature of President Obama, who said the bill "will save hundreds of thousands of additional jobs in the coming year." Read More
On July 19, the White House sent to the Senate the nomination of Donald Berwick to be the top administrator of Medicare and Medicaid. The move seemed odd, given that President Obama had already nominated Berwick once, and then on July 7 used executive authority to bypass lawmakers and unilaterally appoint Berwick to the post while the Senate was in recess. Read More
Jon Ward at The Daily Caller unearths a great story from the voluminous health care reform bill that Congress just passed. Read More
When congressional Democrats meet behind closed doors to reconcile conflicting provisions in the House and Senate health care bills, they’re unlikely to revisit areas on which the two chambers already agree, such as mandatory expansion of Medicaid. But this ticking fiscal time bomb poses a direct threat to the solvency of the states. Read More
Dr. Melissa Rhodes, a critical pulmonary care specialist from Georgia, left an office full of patients and took the train to Washington yesterday so she could tell members of Congress that the Senate health care bill will “put the government and federal regulators between me and my patients. To have someone else tell me how I can and cannot care for my patients is wrong.”
Last month, 60 Minutes did an alarming report on the $60 billion-a-year Medicare fraud industry. Reporter Steve Kroft began by cautioning that “this story may raise your blood pressure” and “raise some troubling questions about our government’s ability to manage a medical bureaucracy.” The venerable CBS investigative news program spoke with an FBI agent who warned that Medicare fraud had become a “way bigger” problem than the drug trade in Miami. Read More
Medicare and Medicaid, the federal government's health insurance programs for the elderly and poor, play a big role in the health care reform proposals being considered on Capitol Hill. President Obama and Democrats in Congress hope to cut Medicare spending by nearly a half-trillion dollars over the next decade, and reform plans call for a big expansion of Medicaid during the same period. Read More
Even harder will be merging House, Senate versions
Now that a Senate panel has won passage of a moderate health care reform bill, the real challenge lies with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who must weave it together with much more liberal legislation in a way that can win the support of at least 60 lawmakers.
Given the divergent components of each bill, it promises to be a daunting if not impossible task. Read More
A federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request has been filed by a citizens activist group seeking the rest of the story behind the recent gag order issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services against health insurance companies to prevent them from providing customers with information about Obamacare. Read More