Aug. 1, 2015 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Health Care

House Leaning Toward VA 'Choice' Vote, but With Strings

Lawmakers appear ready to ensure the Department of Veterans Affairs has access to the money it needs to prevent a shutdown of its hospitals this August, but there will probably be strings attached.

Advocating for a Strong Update to the Toxic Substances Control Act | Commentary

Recently, a CSX train car carrying hazardous chemicals derailed in East Tennessee, forcing thousands of people to evacuate. I watched on the news as brave first responders arrived and worked ceaselessly, putting the health and safety of the population first and foremost. For me, it put in high relief our countryís need to get serious about regulating and removing toxic chemicals from our everyday lives.

To Protect the Public Health, New Chemicals Must Be Found Safe Before Use | Commentary

Public health leaders have long understood the power of prevention to reduce the risk of chronic diseases, including those linked to exposure to chemicals. We know there are billions of pounds of chemicals used in common products sitting on retail shelves in every town in America today.

CMS Confirmation May Bring Back Health Care Fight

President Barack Obamaís nomination of Andy Slavitt to be administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ó heís acting administrator now ó leaves Senate Republicans weighing how to orchestrate the confirmation process in their favor.

Congress Must Clear the Bureaucratic Underbrush on the Journey to Life-Saving Genomic Medicine | Commentary

Fifteen years ago this week, two rival teams of scientists unveiled the sequencing of the human genome, the genetic map that details the DNA code that defines every human being.

Maker of Costly Drug Spent Heavily on Hospitality for Doctors

Gilead Sciences Inc., the maker of the costly Sovaldi hepatitis C pill that has attracted congressional scrutiny, bought doctors about $3.6 million worth of food and drink last year, according to a CQ Roll Call analysis of a federal database that tracks how much drug and medical device companies spend on physicians and hospitals.

Confederate Flag Flap a Death Knell for Appropriations Work

The fiscal 2016 appropriations process effectively screeched to a halt Friday, the day after bitter divisions over a Republican Confederate flag provision sunk the Interior-Environment appropriations bill and apparently laid claim to the rest of the spending measures as well.

Uproar Over Confederate Flag Blocks Interior-Environment Bill

Republican leaders abruptly pulled the fiscal 2016 Interior-Environment spending bill from the floor Thursday in a highly embarrassing about-face after Democrats and moderate Republicans revolted against a planned vote to allow Confederate flag imagery to be displayed on cemeteries on federal land.

It's Time to Move On With the Affordable Care Act | Commentary

Back in 2009, when we set out to improve our health care system, our primary objectives were clear ó to expand coverage to the uninsured and to guarantee that people with insurance would receive the care they need when they got sick.

Support Is Needed for Caregivers | Commentary

Too often, we limit our discussion about the care of older Americans to support for Medicare and Social Security. Thatís important, but there are additional challenges that threaten the economic security of this constituency ó and those challenges are daunting.

King v. Burwell Ruling Doesn't End Our Fight for Real Health Care Reform | Commentary

On June 25, the Supreme Court ruled the IRS has the authority under the presidentís health care law to financially support individuals purchasing health insurance through federally operated exchanges. The text of the Affordable Care Act, however, clearly states that subsidies were singularly intended for people who received insurance through a state owned and operated exchange. The courtís ruling is a familiar SCOTUS maneuver to yet again salvage Obamacare by rewriting the law.

Public Health Needs Public Support | Commentary

Among the most basic responsibilities of the federal government is safeguarding public health. When it comes to preventing an epidemic or infectious disease outbreak, promoting healthy lifestyles, researching disease and injury prevention, and much more, our efforts are more effective when they are collective, rely on proven science and benefit from robust investments.

Education, Prevention and the Eradication of Hepatitis | Commentary

Today, there are nearly 6 million Americans living with hepatitis B and C, yet many people donít know what these viruses are ó or how deadly they can be. Nearly three-fourths of the infected population doesnít even know they have the disease. Thatís the bad news. The good news is that with robust education, research and prevention efforts, we can rid this country, and the world, of this debilitating virus. The first step is to make sure people know the health risks from hepatitis B and C are entirely preventable.

A Budget That Would Undermine and Reverse Progress on Health Care | Commentary

Anyone who looked closely at the fiscal 2016 Labor-HHS-Education budget that sailed through the House Appropriations Committee recently was in for a jolt. It may be impossible to overstate the many ways this legislation would take the country backward.

Obama Says Health Care Working; Supreme Court Upholds Law

The Supreme Court saved Obamacare from another critical legal challenge in a 6-3 decision Thursday that upholds health insurance subsidies for millions of low- and middle-income residents. President Barack Obama hailed the ruling.

Congress Can Stand With Veterans by Supporting the VA Accountability Act | Commentary

One year ago, the Obama White House issued a brief but illuminating report detailing why the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs was failing in its mission to provide timely care to patients.

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FDA May Lack Money to Carry Out Hiring Envisioned in 'Cures' Bill

The Food and Drug Administrationís ability to hire senior staff would be enhanced under a bipartisan House package to speed new medical cures, but the cash-strapped agency still may not have enough resources to pay higher salaries and support the hiring permitted under the measure.

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Repealing Health Law Under Dynamic Scoring Increases Deficit, CBO Says

The Congressional Budget Office estimated Friday that repealing the health care law would increase the federal deficit by $137 billion from fiscal 2016 to 2025 using a dynamic score, compared to $353 billion under traditional scoring practices.

Honoring World War II Merchant Marine Veterans | Commentary

A small group of heroes is walking the halls of Congress this week, proudly sharing memories of the work they and friends long gone did more than 70 years ago to help the Allied forces win World War II.

Spike in West Africa Ebola Cases Shows Need to Address Underlying Health Care Needs | Commentary

On May 20, the World Health Organization reported a substantial increase in the weekly total of new Ebola cases in both Guinea and Sierra Leone and responded by deploying a response team. This comes in the shadow of the success in Liberia that was proclaimed to be Ebola-free in May, the result of a comprehensive response by President Barack Obama and his administration to invest in Liberiaís health care infrastructure. Although a lot of the attention to the U.S. response focused on the role of the American military, our response was actually much more thorough. The United States provided personal protective equipment, funded and trained medical workers, deployed laboratories, supported disease tracing and started a large-scale social messaging campaign to inform Liberians about practices to protect themselves from infection.

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