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Health Care Archive

As Climate Change Alters Ecosystems, Scientists Worry That Exotic Diseases Will Spread

Another public health challenge the National Climate Assessment will explore is the likelihood that diseases native to other geographical areas will migrate to the United States as climate changes alter ecosystems.

Enhanced FDA Tracking System to Monitor for Counterfeits, Contamination

One of the Food and Drug Administration’s newest tools in trying to protect consumers from counterfeit or contaminated drugs is a system to enhance tracking of products throughout the distribution chain.

As Food and Drug Imports Increase, FDA Focuses on Becoming Global Health Organization

The Food and Drug Administration is tasked with overseeing the safety and quality of most of the food, medical devices, drugs, biological products, vaccines and cosmetics in the United States. But every year, more and more of those products come into the country from other nations.

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Ryan Budget Will Get Still More Conservative

The House budget resolution that has served as a manifesto of Republican Party principles in the past three years is about to get still more conservative.

Is There Anything Bipartisan in the Attempts to Improve Obamacare? | Commentary

Republicans, at long last, are coalescing around a broad Obamacare replacement plan, set to be released by House leadership later this month. While Republicans will undoubtedly use it to pummel vulnerable Democrats in November, the $1.4 trillion question is really what happens after November.

Exchange Enrollment Hits 6 Million, Obama Announces

President Barack Obama held a conference call Thursday with thousands of supporters who are working to get people enrolled under the health care law so he could personally deliver the news that more than 6 million Americans have signed up through the federal and state exchanges.

Health and Wellness Are Top FDA Priorities | Letter to the Editor

A recent Roll Call commentary (Congress, FDA Need to Act to Protect College Students, Roll Call, March 20th) indicated that the FDA has inappropriately delayed access to a meningococcal serogroup B (or MenB) vaccine in the United States. This assertion is false. In fact, the FDA is committed to responding rapidly to public health threats.

The Next Healthcare.gov Fiasco? | Commentary

Will the federal government create another healthcare.gov fiasco in the selection of the next Local Number Portability Administrator? Or has it learned that complex, critical IT projects require very careful deliberation and strong technical leadership over many years? The current evidence says “no” and reminds me of the words of a song from my youth: “When will they ever learn?”

Rural America Needs 340B Drug Discount Program | Commentary

Rural hospitals are the front line of care for millions of Americans who can’t travel to big cities for medical treatment. Most are small, less than 25 beds, and many struggle to keep their doors open in the face of rising costs. A little-known prescription drug program called 340B helps these providers stay in business — and extend vital services to needy patients.

Congress, FDA Need to Act to Protect College Students | Commentary

Last week, a Drexel University sophomore named Stephanie Ross had her life cut short by meningitis, a highly contagious bacterial infection that can wreak havoc on college campuses and other high-density living environments. Ross, 19, was a mechanical engineering major at Drexel, which requires students to receive all available meningitis vaccinations before enrolling. But tragically, the vaccine that treats the strain of meningitis in question — that is, the vaccine that could have saved Ross’ life — is suspended in regulatory purgatory, and the federal government continues to put millions of college students at risk by refusing to expedite its approval.

Why We Are Fighting for the Birth Control Benefit | Commentary

The birth control benefit — a provision of the Affordable Care Act providing health insurance coverage of birth control with no co-pay— did not fall from the sky and land on the doorstep of the White House. When Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., fought to create this benefit in the ACA, we proudly fought alongside her, and we are going to fight even harder to make sure it’s not taken away.

Obamacare Exchange Enrollment Surging, HHS Says

Affordable Care Act signups are accelerating with two weeks left in open enrollment before uninsured people face a tax penalty.

Update Health IT Policy Now | Commentary

Mobile applications are revolutionizing our lives, and they have the very real potential to revolutionize our health care system for the better. Every day the mobile application and mobile health industries grow, but unfortunately the federal structure regulating mobile apps hasn’t been able to keep up. Worse, regulators seem to believe the old regulatory framework, created when most used typewriters and carbon paper, is well-suited to ensure mobile apps are safe and effective.

New House Chemicals Bill Angers Cancer Survivors | Commentary

I am an 18-year survivor of congenital pediatric brain cancer. I was given six months to live when I was a 21-year-old college senior. I lost most of my friends. I lost my career as a concert pianist. I lost my fertility. I lost my dignity. I lost my identity. And I struggled for almost a decade to find a place for myself in this world.

Fund Veterans Programs by Cutting Waste | Letter to the Editor

The veterans programs in President Barack Obama’s budget (Obama’s $3.9 Trillion Budget Takes More Realistic Approach, Roll Call, March 4, 2014) offer some of the best opportunities for bipartisan cooperation. Both parties say that we need to fix our services for veterans. Too many young veterans have no jobs. Veterans make up a disproportionate percentage of the homeless. And despite their efforts to process claims for disability benefits faster, the VA is still struggling to eliminate a backlog of nearly 400,000 claims.

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House Staff Members Are Signing Up for Obamacare, Figures Show

Transition to health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act caused major headaches for many members of Congress and their staffs last year, particularly as the issue became a major political football on Capitol Hill. But new enrollment figures from the House Chief Administrative Officer show a mostly successful effort in getting people covered.

Will Next Disease Detection System Be Faster, Cheaper?

Those who monitor disease detection policy note that it’s cheaper and faster to move away from a system that relies heavily on the time-consuming growth in the lab of cultures of disease-causing bugs.

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CDC Plans to Map DNA of Disease-Causing Viruses

Many public health experts see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the premier disease detection agency not just for the United States but for the entire planet.

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Cooperation a Distant Goal for One Spending Bill

As appropriators try to build on the accord they reached in the $1.1 trillion omnibus while working on fiscal 2015 spending plans, some observers already are questioning whether the largest nondefense spending bill, Labor-HHS-Education, can be completed as a stand-alone measure in a steeply divided Congress.

Labor-HHS Bill Managed From the Exit Ramp

The prospects for a Labor-HHS-Education spending bill will depend a great deal on the determination and involvement of two subcommittee chairmen, Sen. Tom Harkin and Rep. Jack Kingston, who both are heading for the exit door at the end of the year.

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