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Melissa Attias


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:

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 Alzheimerís 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 Alzheimerís 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 administrationís 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 ďimmediate public health threats that require urgent and aggressive action.Ē Hereís 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 reportís authors, to argue that itís 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 lawís 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 Decemberís 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 Senateís 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 weekís 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 ďfull-scaleĒ 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 lawís 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 theyíre 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.

Cancer Bill May Hitch a Ride on Defense Authorization

Nov. 30, 2012

Supporters of legislation that would bolster research on the deadliest cancers have dodged a Senate hold by attaching their measure to the defense authorization bill.

Hearing Gives Burton a Last Shot at Autism Issue

Nov. 27, 2012

For more than a decade, Indiana Republican Dan Burton has been a leading House voice on autism and a proponent of the theory that mercury in vaccines contributes to the disorder. He held at least 20 hearings examining the potential link between the two during three terms as chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee and one as head of the panelís subcommittee on Human Rights and Wellness, according to his office.

House Democrats, GOP Disagree on FDA Authority Over Pharmacies

Nov. 14, 2012

Although both parties have urged a bipartisan response to the recent fungal meningitis outbreak, House Democrats pushed for legislation Wednesday that clarifies the Food and Drug Administrationís authority over compounding pharmacies, while Republicans expressed skepticism that a gap currently exists.

Coburn Thwarts Cancer Bill's Orders to Researchers

Nov. 13, 2012

In the last few days before Congress left for its campaign recess, legislation to promote research on the deadliest cancers looked like it was on the fast track to the presidentís desk.

In First 'Real' Job, Fleshman Expands Group's Scope, Clout

Nov. 13, 2012

When Julie M. Fleshman was hired to head the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network more than a dozen years ago, she became, at the age of 25, the groupís first full-time employee. Since then, the organization has grown into a volunteer network with 58 affiliates that are leading the charge for the cancer legislation.

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