First Edition: July 26, 2013

Published on July 26, 2013 at 9:05 AM · No Comments

The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire: HHS Drafts Teddy Roosevelt To Promote Obamacare
The Obama administration hasn't found much support among the GOP for promoting health insurance this fall, but they have won over at least one Republican: Teddy Roosevelt. The long-suffering presidential mascot for the Washington Nationals baseball team starred in a video promo last night with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to promote Obamacare. The video aired before the Nationals game last night with the Pittsburgh Pirates (Schatz, 7/24).

The Wall Street Journal: Surgeons Eyed Over Deals With Medical-Device Makers
Federal prosecutors' scrutiny of Dr. Sabit is part of a broader civil investigation into a network of physician-owned spinal-implant distributorships operated by two former medical-device company employees, the people with knowledge of the matter say. This network, which was run out of Utah and comprised at least 11 physician-owned distributorships in six states, generated tens of millions of dollars in profits for its investors over six years (Carreyou, 7/25).

The Center for Public Integrity/Washington Post: Budget Cuts force Scale Back Of Health-Care Fraud Investigations
Facing major budget and staff cuts, federal officials are scaling back several high-profile health-care fraud and abuse investigations, including an audit of the state insurance exchanges that are set to open later this year as a key provision of the Affordable Care Act (Schulte, 7/25).

Los Angeles Times: Watchdog Group, Father Begin Medical Malpractice Initiative Campaign
Santa Monica-based Consumer Watchdog and the father of two children killed by a drug-abusing driver have taken the first step toward waging an initiative campaign to raise limits on medical malpractice "pain and suffering" jury awards. The proposed law, which was submitted for title and summary to the attorney general's office Thursday, needs petitions with valid signatures from 504,760 registered voters. Supporters hope to qualify for the November 2014 general election ballot (Lifsher, 7/25).

Los Angeles Times: Doctors, Hospitals Join To Fight Changes To Malpractice Awards
The fight to raise the cap on awards in medical malpractice cases was officially joined on Thursday with groups backed by litigators filing a ballot initiative that could be before voters next year, and a coalition of doctors and hospitals responding with a new political committee to defeat the proposal (York, 7/25).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: NY Fights Reopening Of Hospital Damaged By Sandy, Says Facility Has Long Been Bleeding Money
Officials at the last hospital still closed after Superstorm Sandy are engaged in a nasty public feud with the state Health Department, which says the facility has been bleeding money for years and should merge with its closest competitor if it wants to continue providing health services (7/25).

The Associated Press/New York Times: North Carolina: Abortion Curbs Await Governor's Decision
The state's Republican-led legislature has approved new abortion rules that backers say will make the procedure safer but that critics say aim to restrict the ability of women to have abortions by forcing clinics to close. The State Senate gave final approval on Thursday to a measure empowering the state Department of Health and Human Services to develop rules to regulate abortion clinics based on the same standards as those set for outpatient surgery centers (7/25).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.


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