Government

HHS: Medicare Advantage enrollment is up, premiums down

HHS: Medicare Advantage enrollment is up, premiums down

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Enrollment in Medicare Advantage has jumped by 28% since the Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2010, federal health officials said Wednesday.

Chinese long-term care growing, lacking oversight and regulation, similar to U.S. decades ago, researchers say

The growing demand for nursing homes in China has dramatically outpaced the government's ability to provide oversight, leaving that country's long-term care industry in a state similar to that in the U.S. 40 or 50 years ago, according to a new study.

House committees release healthcare reform plan outline

Chairmen of three House committees Friday released a draft outline of healthcare reform legislation as Democrats push to pass a bill by August.

California denied federal bailout funds, future of long-term care funding remains uncertain

Obama Administration officials Tuesday denied a request from California lawmakers for federal financial bailout assistance, according to recent reports. The Golden State faces a $24 billion budget deficit for the upcoming fiscal year beginning July 1.

Some believe Kennedy's absence from Washington may affect outcome of healthcare reform

While Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) is considered the architect of the Affordable Health Choices Act bill, he was not on Capitol Hill when the pivotal bill was introduced Tuesday. Some wonder if his notable absence--due to cancer--will slow down the healthcare reform process or change its final result.

It's now or never for healthcare reform, Obama says

President Barack Obama told thousands of supporters last week that healthcare reform has to take place this year.

Rockefeller introduces bill making MedPAC independent executive branch agency

Rockefeller introduces bill making MedPAC independent executive branch agency

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) is a legislative entity whose purpose is to advise Congress on matters of Medicare reimbursement rates and coverage policies. Now, one senator has introduced legislation that would transfer the agency to the executive branch and give it more political muscle.

Daschle still playing part in healthcare reform effort

Although he failed in his bid to become secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, Tom Daschle is by no measure out of the game. The former Senate Majority Leader is still taking an active and important role in the healthcare reform debate.

Republicans release conservative, moderate versions of healthcare reform

Republicans release conservative, moderate versions of healthcare reform

As a rebuttal to Democrats' healthcare reform plans, congressional Republicans on Wednesday introduced two alternative proposals. Both of them emphasize private market controls over government ownership.

Nursing homes caution against federal budget cuts in wake of governors' bleak budget predictions

Nursing homes caution against federal budget cuts in wake of governors' bleak budget predictions

Despite indications that the national economy is starting to rebound, the National Governors Association is warning that states' economies are still suffering, and that another bout of budget cuts could be on the horizon.

Pelosi: House to craft healthcare reform bill by July

Pelosi: House to craft healthcare reform bill by July

The House of Representatives will have a healthcare reform bill to vote on by the end of July, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said Wednesday. She made the announcement alongside President Barack Obama and other leading Democratic representatives at the White House.

Republicans block Senate vote on Sebelius confirmation

Republicans block Senate vote on Sebelius confirmation

Republican senators Thursday blocked a vote on the confirmation of Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D) for secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. That likely will hold up a Senate vote on the nomination for a week.

Obama creates White House Office of Health Reform

Obama creates White House Office of Health Reform

President Obama Wednesday officially created the White House Office of Health Reform, establishing healthcare reform as a top priority for his administration.

President adds immigration reform to list of new policy initiatives

There's healthcare reform, labor reform, energy reform and banking reform. Now the Obama administration has announced that it will be working on another project: immigration reform.

GAO names 13 to healthcare IT committee

The Government Accountability Office recently appointed 13 healthcare industry specialists to the Health Information Technology Policy Committee. As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the HITPC will help oversee the adoption of a national infrastructure of electronic medical records.

Senate to vote on Sebelius for HHS secretary later this month

Several Republican senators have objected to an immediate vote on the nomination of Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D) for secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. As a result, the Senate likely will not vote on the nomination until later this month.

HHS nominee Sebelius emphasizes need for long-term care

HHS nominee Sebelius emphasizes need for long-term care

Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius (D), nominee for secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, told the Senate Finance Committee about the importance of long-term care during the opening statements of her confirmation hearing this week.

Sebelius faces tough questions on healthcare during confirmation hearing for HHS post

Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius (D) told lawmakers Tuesday that she would not rule out using the budget reconciliation process as a way to pass healthcare reform legislation. She answered questions during the Senate confirmation hearing for the position of secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

New department within HHS to oversee allocation of stimulus package healthcare funding

The Department of Health and Human Services has created an agency to oversee the distribution of the roughly $137 billion it received as a result of the economic stimulus package.

Obama signs massive, overdue spending bill

Obama signs massive, overdue spending bill

President Obama on Wednesday signed a $410 billion spending bill that he called "imperfect" but necessary to keep the federal government running.

House approves spending bill with discretionary funding for HHS

The House this week approved a 2009 omnibus spending package that includes $66.3 billion in discretionary funding for programs at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Obama budget would cut $316 billion over 10 years from Medicare

President Obama's budget plan for fiscal year 2010, which he plans to release today, would trim $316 billion over 10 years from Medicare.

Physicians ask Sen. Kennedy to reintroduce universal healthcare legislation

A group of 500 Massachusetts physicians have sent a letter to Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) asking him to resist modeling a national healthcare system on the recently revamped Massachusetts system.

Senate, House reach tentative stimulus package agreement

Just a day after the Senate passed its stimulus bill, House and Senate leaders have reached a tentative compromise on an economic stimulus package. They believe it will create jobs, provide tax breaks and allocate billions of dollars in additional funding for state Medicaid programs.

Senate passes stimulus bill, reconciliation with House bill to begin

Senate passes stimulus bill, reconciliation with House bill to begin

The Senate Tuesday passed an $838 billion economic stimulus package by a vote of 61-37. The bill now moves to a dual-chamber committee to resolve differences between the legislation and a recently passed House stimulus package.

Obama stresses benefits of healthcare IT

In his first official national press conference, President Barack Obama touched on the importance of an electronic medical health record infrastructure as a way to both help patients and get the economy back on track.

Senate expected to vote on economic stimulus package today

Senate expected to vote on economic stimulus package today

Senate leaders have scheduled a vote on the economic stimulus package today. It follows weeks of hard-fought negotiations and compromises between the parties.

Sebelius reportedly top choice as nominee for HHS secretary

Sebelius reportedly top choice as nominee for HHS secretary

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D) of Kansas has emerged as the front-runner in the race to replace former Senator Tom Daschle as President Obama's nominee for secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, recent news reports suggest.

Grassley amendment in stimulus bill would protect nursing home reimbursements

Grassley amendment in stimulus bill would protect nursing home reimbursements

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) is drawing praise from nursing homes for introducing an amendment to the economic stimulus package. The amendment would preserve provider payments under the proposed $87 billion federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) increase.

GAO: Each state would receive Medicaid increase under economic stimulus package

The economic stimulus package under debate in Congress would boost each state's federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP) by 7.6% from the first quarter of fiscal year 2009 through the end of the first quarter of fiscal year 2011. That is according to a new Government Accountability Office report analyzing Medicaid funding in the legislation.