Washington Update

Senate Reaches a Compromise on Student Loan Interest Rates

Legislation, Education | Permanent link

The Senate approved a bill that will retroactively lower student loan interest rates, which doubled to 6.8 % on July 1, 2013. The Senate voted 81-18 to pass the bill, known as the Click Here To Read More

Update on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations

HHS, Education | Permanent link

On July 11, 2013, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the FY14 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) spending bill. The bill provides $164.3 billion in discretionary funds for the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Departments, representing a 25% higher allocation than the expected... Click Here To Read More

Implementation of the Employer Mandate Requirement in the Affordable Care Act is Delayed

Legislation | Permanent link

On July 2, 2013, the Department of the Treasury (DOT) announced that there will be a delay in implementing the employer mandate and reporting requirements for insurers... Click Here To Read More

Members of Congress Attempt to Defund the Affordable Care Act

Legislation | Permanent link

Several House Republicans have signed a letter urging Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to defund the Affordable Care Act (ACA) when Congress approves the appropriation bills later this year. According to the letter, signers are... Click Here To Read More

Senators Seek to Stop Medicaid Payments to Dental Clinics that Circumvent Oversight Regulations

HHS | Permanent link

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Ranking Member of Judiciary Committee, are calling on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to ban dental clinics from participating in the Medicaid program if the dental clinics circumvent state laws designed to ensure only licensed dentists... Click Here To Read More

Congressional Budget Office Reports on the Effects of the Sequester

Research | Permanent link

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that keeping the spending cuts from sequestration in place through FY14 would cost up to 1.6 million jobs. On the other hand, cancelling the cuts would yield between 300,000 to 1.6 million new jobs, with the most likely outcome being the addition of 900,000.

Rep. Chris Van... Click Here To Read More

Obama Administration Engages in Talks on Replacing the Sequester

Legislation | Permanent link

The Obama Administration and eight Republican senators are discussing potential cuts to Social Security and Medicare that could be part of an agreement to replace the automatic spending cuts in the 2011 debt deal (P.L.... Click Here To Read More

Senate Committee Holds Hearing on Health Information Technology

Legislation | Permanent link

On July 17, 2013, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing entitled “Health Information Technology: A Building Block to Quality Health Care.” Dr. Farzad Mostashari, National Coordinator for... Click Here To Read More

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Updates the Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs)

HHS | Permanent link

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released its updated list of designated primary medical care, mental health, and dental health professional shortage areas (HPSAs). The list highlights... Click Here To Read More

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Announces Funding to Support Primary Care Residency Programs in Teaching Health Centers

HHS | Permanent link

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced $12 million in Affordable Care Act funding to support primary care residency programs in 32 Teaching Health Centers across the nation. Funding will help train more than 300 residents during the 2013-2014 academic year, doubling the number of residents... Click Here To Read More

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