From The Hill

First Major ‘Medicare for All’ Hearing Sharpens Attacks on Both Sides

June 12, 2019

Supporters of “Medicare for All” notched a victory Wednesday when one of Congress’s most powerful committees debated the progressive proposal, but the venue also gave Republicans an opportunity to paint proponents as socialists.

Democrats and Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee were at odds with each other, and at times with the lively audience of Medicare for All advocates, over how to pay for a program that’s estimated to cost in the tens of trillions of dollars.

Supporters of “Medicare for All” notched a victory Wednesday when one of Congress’s most powerful committees debated the progressive proposal, but the venue also gave Republicans an opportunity to paint proponents as socialists.

Democrats and Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee were at odds with each other, and at times with the lively audience of Medicare for All advocates, over how to pay for a program that’s estimated to cost in the tens of trillions of dollars.

It was the first time a congressional committee with jurisdiction over health care issues has held a hearing on the proposal, following two events hosted by the Rules and the Budget committees earlier this year.

“This is a historic step in the process of recognizing health care as a human right,” said Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), co-chair of the House’s Medicare for All Caucus, at a press conference….

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CBO: Medicare for All Gives ‘Many More’ Coverage but ‘Potentially Disruptive’

May 22, 2019

Experts from Congress’s nonpartisan budget office testified Wednesday that a single-payer health care system would result in “many more” people with health insurance but would also be “potentially disruptive” and increase government control.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) experts made the remarks at the second hearing on a single-payer, “Medicare for All” system that House Democrats have held this year, this time at the House Budget Committee.

Experts from Congress’s nonpartisan budget office testified Wednesday that a single-payer health care system would result in “many more” people with health insurance but would also be “potentially disruptive” and increase government control.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) experts made the remarks at the second hearing on a single-payer, “Medicare for All” system that House Democrats have held this year, this time at the House Budget Committee.

“Many more people would probably have health insurance as a result but the government would take much more control over the health care system,” said CBO deputy director Mark Hadley.

He noted that because health care represents around one-sixth of the economy, “those changes could significantly affect the overall U.S. economy” and be “potentially disruptive….”

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Trump Officials Take Bold Steps on Medicaid

March 20, 2019

The Trump administration is pulling out all the stops to encourage red states to make conservative changes to Medicaid without congressional input. Administration officials are pushing ahead and granting approvals to states seeking to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients, even in the face of legal challenges and large-scale losses in the number of people covered.

The Trump administration is pulling out all the stops to encourage red states to make conservative changes to Medicaid without congressional input.

Administration officials are pushing ahead and granting approvals to states seeking to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients, even in the face of legal challenges and large-scale losses in the number of people covered.

Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) granted Ohio’s request for work requirements, the ninth such approval since President Trump took office…..

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Measles Outbreaks Lead States to Reconsider Vaccine Exemptions

February 26, 2019

Measles outbreaks across the nation are prompting state lawmakers to consider eliminating vaccination exemptions for religious and personal beliefs that have been claimed by the parents of some children.

Public health experts and officials blame the exemptions as one reason why states are seeing an increased number of cases of measles.

Measles outbreaks across the nation are prompting state lawmakers to consider eliminating vaccination exemptions for religious and personal beliefs that have been claimed by the parents of some children.

Public health experts and officials blame the exemptions as one reason why states are seeing an increased number of cases of measles.

“What you see as religious choice could possibly cause negative health outcomes for other members of your community and society,” said Pat Burke, a Democratic state lawmaker in New York who is pushing to eliminate the state’s religious exemption.

Laws allowing parents to opt out of vaccinations were created by states trying to strike a delicate balance between religious freedom, personal choice and public health….

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Drug Pricing Fight Centers on Insulin

February 20, 2019

Lawmakers are zeroing in on the skyrocketing cost of insulin and putting pressure on manufacturers as they work to address high drug prices.

Congressional Democrats, Republicans and the Trump administration say that lowering drug prices is a priority, and drugmakers are on the hot seat.

Lawmakers are zeroing in on the skyrocketing cost of insulin and putting pressure on manufacturers as they work to address high drug prices.

Congressional Democrats, Republicans and the Trump administration say that lowering drug prices is a priority, and drugmakers are on the hot seat.

Insulin could prove an easy target in that push. The drug hasn’t changed much since it was first discovered nearly 100 years ago, and as newer forms of the drug have been introduced, the price has climbed.

There is also no generic competition to the brand names that cost patients hundreds of dollars a month….

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