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Health Care Archive

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.

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.

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.

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.

Obama's Actions Could Put HIV Patients at Risk | Commentary

The Affordable Care Act was heralded by many, including my organization, The AIDS Institute, as a major step in improving the U.S. health care system. While we remain firmly committed to it, two aspects of its implementation have fallen short of our high expectations. Recent actions by the Obama administration can potentially erode patients’ ability to obtain medications and limit access to health care for many of the nation’s sickest and most in-need, including people with HIV and AIDS.

Current Mental-Health Resources Fail Our Heroes | Commentary

Each day, nearly 22 former servicemen and servicewomen commit suicide.

Tackling the 2.5 Million Jobs Lost in the Affordable Care Act | Commentary

The best kind of problem is one you can solve before it’s too big to handle, and it’s not often Congress is afforded the ability to do just that. In this case, according to a recent Congressional Budget Office report, the Affordable Care Act will result in 2.5 million fewer full-time jobs by 2024. Fortunately, the CBO’s report also alludes to a possible change that would mitigate this problem — employer mandate relief by returning to the traditional definition of 40 hours a week for full-time work in the Affordable Care Act.

Don't Undercut Successful Medicare Advantage Program | Commentary

At a time of transition in health care coverage across our country, it is important that seniors and people with disabilities retain the health care coverage on which so many of them depend: Medicare Advantage.

Don't Wipe Out Flood Insurance Reform | Commentary

Next week the House plans to take up its bill to delay much-needed National Flood Insurance Program reforms adopted less than two years ago, with lawmakers from the Gulf region and the Eastern seaboard leading the charge.

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