Washington Update

Federal Government Shuts Down Over Efforts to Defund the Affordable Care Act— Health Insurance Marketplaces Are Open for Business

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At 12:01 a.m. on October 1, the federal government officially shut down. As Politico described it, “The partisan gridlock in Washington proved insurmountable, as House Republicans continue to insist on changing, delaying or defunding Obamacare as the price for keeping the government open, while Senate Democrats and President Barack... Click Here To Read More

Affordable Care Act’s Critics Seek to Block Health Subsidies

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Critics of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have filed additional legal motions in the ongoing Halbig v. Sebelius case asking the courts to move quickly to block federal officials from giving people subsidies under the... Click Here To Read More

Health Center Funding to Expand Access to Care

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Earlier this month the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced awards totaling $67 million to extend access to health care through the nation’s health centers. Of that total, $48 million will go to provide operational support and quality improvement activities at 1,200 existing health centers.

The Affordable Care... Click Here To Read More

Affordable Care Act’s Open Enrollment Problems Examined

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Republicans are trying to draw attention to various problems related to readiness, testing and the functionality of the insurance exchanges established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as the October 1 start of the first open enrollment season approaches.

On September 10, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health... Click Here To Read More

Congressional Budget Office Reports Individual Mandate Delay Would Increase the Number of Uninsured

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Delaying the individual mandate clause in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) until 2015 would raise the number of uninsured Americans by about 11 million in 2014 and reduce the expected coverage gains under the act by nearly 85%, according to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate.

In a September 6 report, the CBO concluded that the... Click Here To Read More

Liberty University Petitions Supreme Court on the Affordable Care Act’s Employer Mandate

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Liberty University filed a petition on September 5 asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take another look at the so-called employer mandate within the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The law requires employers... Click Here To Read More

Anti-Smoking Campaign Exceeds Expectations

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According to a study published in the Lancet earlier this month, a graphic three-month anti-smoking campaign prompted more than 200,000 U.S. smokers to quit in 2012. Half of them... Click Here To Read More

Comprehensive Dental Reform Act Reintroduced in the Senate

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On September 18, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) reintroduced legislation to expand dental coverage to millions of Americans through Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act and the Department of Veterans Affairs. The bill, S. 1522, the Comprehensive Dental Reform Act of 2013, also aims to expand access to dental care... Click Here To Read More

Food and Drug Administration Seeks to Curb Painkiller Abuse

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New Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labeling rules announced September 10 will change the wording on labels for “extended release” and “long-acting” opioid analgesic painkillers such as OxyContin, in an attempt to prevent abuse.

Although the current labels of such drugs say they should be used for “moderate to severe pain,” the new... Click Here To Read More

Demise of the Defense of Marriage Act Affects Financial Aid

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This summer’s Supreme Court ruling striking down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) will change how the federal government calculates some students’ eligibility for financial aid.

DOMA, the federal law that defined marriage as the union between one man and one woman, prevented the federal government from considering same-sex spouses as... Click Here To Read More

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