Healthcare News from Capitol Hill
Obama administration announces plan to fight Alzheimer’s Released from the Health and Human Services Department (HHS), there is a plan for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s which will encompass clinical trials and training for doctors. The release date is 2025. “This is a national plan, not a federal one, because reducing the burden of Alzheimer’s will require the active engagement of both the public and private sectors”, according to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
Sequestered cuts keep K Street on high alert According to lobbying disclosure records, several interests lobbied on the budget sequestration last quarter. Defense contractors as well as healthcare groups were closely monitoring the budget cuts proposed for next year. The proposed budget cuts include a reduction of $123 billion in payments to Medicare providers. According to Ken Raske, president and CEO of the Greater New York Hospital Association, “the budget cuts will add to the financial burden on the healthcare system. This could be a compounded horror show for the hospitals The spending cuts could hinder hospitals providing care to patients.
Nurse practitioners push for bigger role as coverage expands Nurse practitioners are pushing to expand their role in healthcare. The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) states their role should become more important as Obama’s healthcare law pushes through. The new law will provide coverage to millions of people which will increase the importance of nurse practitioners.
Senator Leahy hopeful that John Roberts will vote to uphold health law Before the court heard arguments in the healthcare case, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts was mentioned as a potential swing vote. “I thought I saw a chief justice who understands the importance of this case to all Americans, including those millions who would otherwise continue without health care insurance and access to affordable health care”, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy said in a floor speech. The court is supposed to make a decision next month whether the healthcare law, which requires everyone to purchase insurance, is constitutional or not. If the mandate is nixed, the court will have to decide whether the entire law will be nixed or if the rest will pass.
Study: Insurers to lose $1 trillion if health law struck down According to the Bloomberg Government, at stake in the Supreme Court’s decision on healthcare reform is nearly $1 trillion of the insurance industry’s total revenue through 2020. “It’s a confirmation of, one, how much money we’re spending as a nation on healthcare, and two, how much is riding on this court case and the Supreme Court’s decision”, according to Matt Barry. “You’re talking about an amount of money here that can affect the economy, not just an industry. The revenue would come from both the expansion of Medicaid and from additional subsidies to individuals purchasing insurance. The Supreme Court is expected to issue a decision by the end of June 2012.
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