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Melissa Attias

Bio:

Melissa Attias covers health care policy as a staff writer for CQ Roll Call. Before joining the health team, she reported on social policy legislation moving through Congress and followed House and Senate floor action for CQ's legislative tracking team. She also completed internships at Roll Call newspaper and CQ HealthBeat before the two newsrooms merged.

A graduate of the George Washington University, Melissa earned a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication and a minor in political science. She grew up in Greensboro, N.C., and currently lives on Capitol Hill.

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Stories by Melissa Attias:

CDC Chief Pledges to Improve Safety After Biohazard Lapses

July 16, 2014

A recent incident during which staff at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was potentially exposed to anthrax is part of a larger pattern of “an insufficient culture of safety,” Director Thomas R. Frieden told a panel of House lawmakers Wednesday.

CDC Chief Pledges to Improve Safety After Biohazard Lapses

July 16, 2014

A recent incident during which staff at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was potentially exposed to anthrax is part of a larger pattern of “an insufficient culture of safety,” Director Thomas R. Frieden told a panel of House lawmakers Wednesday.

Few Think the FDA Will Reclassify Marijuana

July 7, 2014

Advocates on both sides of the debate over legalizing marijuana are skeptical that the Food and Drug Administration will recommend reclassifying marijuana out of the highest drug schedule and say little would change even if it did.

FDA Weighs Role Overseeing the Marijuana Trade

July 7, 2014

Colorado’s and Washington’s decision to legalize marijuana for adults has left federal regulators in an awkward position, with the drug still illegal under federal law. But while the Food and Drug Administration has been largely absent from the new retail scene, the agency appears to be leaving the door open to taking action on food products that contain marijuana if public health is threatened.

Pediatric Research Bill Championed by Cantor Signed by Obama

June 11, 2014

A pediatric research bill that House Majority Leader Eric Cantor helped shepherd through the House became law on April 3 after President Barack Obama signed the measure at a ceremony attended by Cantor, other lawmakers and the family of the young girl for which it was named.

Exchange Enrollment Hits 6 Million, Obama Announces

March 27, 2014

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.

Alzheimer's Advocates Fight for Piece of Research Pie

Feb. 3, 2014

Advocates for the roughly 5 million Americans with Alzheimer’s and their families had something to cheer when the recent fiscal 2014 spending bill was signed into law. The measure included hard-fought funding to help address the disease at a level that the Alzheimer’s Association called unprecedented.

G-8 Makes Commitments to Address Dementia

Feb. 3, 2014

On Dec. 11, members of the G-8 gathered at a summit in London to discuss an international path forward for addressing dementia. Health representatives from the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States made a number of commitments, including the following:

Will the Supreme Court Take On Contraception Coverage Challenge?

Nov. 18, 2013

While Congress continues to focus on the rocky rollout of the health care overhaul, the Supreme Court is expected to mull over challenges to another piece of the law two days before the justices sit down to their Thanksgiving dinners.

High Court Could Weigh In on Contraception

Nov. 18, 2013

The Supreme Court is expected to decide at a Nov. 26 conference whether to take up one or more of the following cases related to the Obama administration’s contraception rule:

Fighting Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Is a Bipartisan Cause

Sept. 23, 2013

A recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is adding urgency to an issue lawmakers from both parties say they want to address: the rise of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.

3 Bacteria Have Antibiotic Resistance at 'Urgent' Level

Sept. 23, 2013

Of the 18 bacteria described in a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report on antibiotic resistance, three are classified at the highest threat level: urgent. The report defines those antibiotic threats as “immediate public health threats that require urgent and aggressive action.” Here’s the rundown:

IOM Sodium Report Ignites Controversy

June 21, 2013

Controversy has swirled around a National Academies Institute of Medicine report on sodium intake since its release, prompting health advocates, as well as some of the report’s authors, to argue that it’s been misunderstood and is in line with broader efforts encouraging Americans to consume less sodium.

House Republicans Probe Sebelius Fundraising Calls

June 5, 2013

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Tuesday that she made five phone calls in connection with Enroll America, a nonprofit helping with outreach and education for the health care law. Two of the calls were fundraising solicitations, she said.

White House Conference Aims to Reduce the Stigma of Mental Illness

June 4, 2013

Efforts to increase awareness of mental-health issues and reduce the stigma associated with them got a boost Monday when the Obama administration hosted a national conference on mental health at the White House.

Cantor Balancing Research Priorities, Fiscal Concerns

June 3, 2013

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is calling for medical research to gain precedence over some other issues, as Congress tries to balance competing priorities with limited dollars.

Sponsors of Mental Health Bills Look for Way Forward

May 21, 2013

The decision to tie mental health legislation to the Senate gun package that was pulled from the floor last month has left supporters of those provisions in limbo.

Health Law Tax Foes Find Hope in Overhaul Effort

April 22, 2013

If hundreds of comments are any indication, everyone has ideas about what a House committee should include in its tax overhaul package.

McConnell to House: Move Device Tax Repeal Soon

March 26, 2013

The top Senate Republican is calling on the House to send over legislation to repeal the health care law’s tax on medical devices, following a bipartisan vote among senators in favor of such a move last week.

Lawmakers Make Mental Health Part of Agenda

Feb. 25, 2013

A number of bills focused on mental-health issues have been introduced in the 113th Congress, including the following:

Mental-Health Interest Is Personal for Many Lawmakers

Feb. 25, 2013

For Rep. Ron Barber, the discussion about gun violence and mental health that has followed December’s elementary school shooting has a deeply personal element: The Arizona Democrat was among the injured after a mentally unstable gunman opened fire on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others in 2011.

Franken Makes Mental-Health Care a Priority

Jan. 31, 2013

Minnesota Democrat Al Franken has been positioning himself as one of the Senate’s key voices on mental-health care, following in the legacy of his late friend and predecessor, Sen. Paul Wellstone.

After Shooting, Congress Ponders Mental Health Role

Dec. 17, 2012

Lawmakers in both chambers are calling for Congress to start a conversation about mental health issues in the wake of last week’s deadly shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, with one goal of ensuring adequate funding for services for those who need treatment. Murphy called for Congress to initiate a “full-scale” effort into reviewing mental health issues. The lawmaker said he would also work to prevent end-of-year cuts to services. Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo

Opponents of Tax on Medical Devices See Hope In Fiscal Cliff Debate

Dec. 7, 2012

Opponents of the health care law’s tax on medical devices say they are making headway in their push to repeal the provision before it takes effect next year. But some see delaying the implementation of the tax as a way to get around concerns about the cost of eliminating it if they’re unable to fully repeal it before the end of the session.

Marijuana Initiatives Spark States' Rights Legislation

Dec. 5, 2012

No matter how its members feel about marijuana use, a bipartisan group of House lawmakers wants to ensure that states can move forward with their marijuana laws without federal interference and has introduced legislation to make that happen.

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