Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 30, 2014

July 30, 2014

Powered Wheelchairs: CMS Expands Payment Scrutiny

A trial program that requires prior-authorization before payment for power mobility devices, or powered wheelchairs, will be expanded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

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CDC Ramps Up Ebola Response

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has expanded its monitoring of the possible transmission of the deadly Ebola virus to travelers arriving from West Africa. CQ Roll Call’s Tom Curry reports that the CDC has issued a Health Alert Notice to doctors and nurses to inquire about travel histories of people who have recent traveled to West Africa.

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July 29, 2014

Breast Cancer Awareness Has Bipartisan Appeal

It’s difficult to find common ground on many major legislative topics between Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and David Vitter, R-La., and Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fl., and Renee Ellmers, R-N.C. However, health topics can be a unifying force in Congress.

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By Paul Jenks Posted at 3:50 p.m.
Cancer

CDC Updates Stats on Low Teen Cancer Vaccination Rates

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently sounded an alarm with new statistics about the low rate of vaccination of teenagers against human papillomavirus. The health monitoring agency noted that teens are getting the HPV cancer vaccine at a lower rate than other vaccines.

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Drug Naming Process Gets New Scrutiny From FDA

488548259 web 445x296 Drug Naming Process Gets New Scrutiny From FDA

(Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday issued a notice seeking comments on the process of naming prescription drugs, particularly drug manufacturers’ desire to reserve a specific name for a drug product.

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By Paul Jenks Posted at 10:30 a.m.
Pharmaceuticals

Medicare Trustees Report Extends Trust Fund Solvency

The trustees of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds on Monday released their annual report. The trustees projected that due to lower health care spending the Medicare hospital inpatient trust fund will be depleted in 2030, four years later than estimated last year.

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July 28, 2014

Al Franken Looks Forward to State Fair Food; Don’t Count on Lots of Healthy Options

451864696 445x297 Al Franken Looks Forward to State Fair Food; Don’t Count on Lots of Healthy Options

(Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Congress is preparing to begin its annual August recess at the end of the week. For many lawmakers, it means a trip to the state fair. Al Franken is ready.

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New FDA Food Labels: $2 Billion on the Line?

The Food and Drug Administration earlier this year proposed changes to nutrition information labels included on most packaged food products. The agency has extended the public comment period until Aug. 1 on the proposed label rules.

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Retiring Appropriator Seeks to Steady Medical Research Funding

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Harkin. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Tom Harkin, the chairman of the Senate Labor-HHS-Education spending subcommittee and the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, is retiring at the end of the year. Ahead of his departure, the Iowa Democrat has introduced a bill that seeks to steady medical research funding for the National Institutes of Health.

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Veterans’ Health Bill Compromise Set After Weekend Talks

A compromise struck by House and Senate negotiators on Sunday on veterans’ medical care legislation would provide $15 billion in up-front emergency funds to help ease lengthy wait times at VA medical facilities, according to plan summary obtained by CQ Roll Call.

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July 25, 2014

Census Bureau Updates HIV-AIDS Research Library

The U.S. Census Bureau this week announced the annual update of its database of scientific journals and reports on HIV-AIDS research. The agency touts the library as the “most comprehensive resource of its kind in the world.”

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House Plans Vote on Suing Obama Over Health Care Law

452619240 445x311 House Plans Vote on Suing Obama Over Health Care Law

Obama, speaking at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College on Wednesday. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

Republicans are preparing to vote on a resolution that would pave the way for the House to sue President Barack Obama over his executive actions to delay parts of the Affordable Care Act.

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Bipartisan Health Bills: Medical Leave, Congressional Plans and Chronic Care Coverage

Despite bitter congressional wrangling over the health care overhaul law and health spending priorities, several bills introduced this week suggest there is some bipartisan consensus on health care issues.

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New Tax Forms Released for Documenting Health Coverage

The IRS has fleshed out new reporting requirements stemming from the Affordable Care Act, including instructions for how taxpayers should calculate penalties if they fail to purchase insurance.

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For Alzheimer’s, Drugs Come More Slowly, but Tests on Horizon

The Economist magazine this week points out that efforts have slowed recently in developing drug treatment options for Alzheimer’s disease. However, the article highlights progress in developing tests to identify early indicators of Alzheimer’s.

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