KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Insider Probe Over Medicare Rate Decision Hits Congress

News outlets report on developments in the story of alleged insider trading after a Medicare rate decision.

Bloomberg: Medicare Rate Decision Seen By Hundreds Of U.S. Employees
The Medicare rate decision that sent Humana Inc.’s stock soaring in April was distributed to at least 436 government employees at the U.S. Health and Human Services Department before the agency’s official announcement. Senator Charles Grassley's staff obtained more than 1,000 pages of e-mails from HHS that mentioned the decision in the two weeks before April 1, according to Jill Gerber, a spokeswoman for the Iowa Republican (Wayne, 6/10).

The Wall Street Journal: Insider Probe Hits Congress
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has shifted the focus of a broadening insider-trading investigation to Congress, seeking information to determine whether one of Sen. Charles Grassley's aides may have been involved in sharing information about an important government decision with Wall Street this spring, said a person familiar with the matter. ... At issue is whether anyone violated insider-trading laws by improperly tipping off investors of a coming announcement by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to restore cuts in funding for private health insurance plans (Mullins, Grimaldi and Barrett, 6/10).

Also on Capitol Hill, a House panel considers late-term abortion legislation while some senators are pushing for a drug-compounding bill vote -

National Journal: House Judiciary Committee Considers Banning Late-Term Abortions
The House Judiciary Committee plans to consider a bill Wednesday banning late-term abortions nationwide, and its sponsor says the murder convictions last month of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell are serving as a "teachable moment" on the issue. Rep. Trent Franks's Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is actually an expanded version of legislation the Arizona Republican sponsored last session that failed under an expedited process to get enough votes on the House floor to pass (House, 6/11).

The Hill: Senators Urge Swift Vote On Drug Compounding Bill
Leaders of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee called for a swift vote on legislation to empower federal regulators to oversee non-traditional drug compounders. ... Lawmakers have been working to strengthen regulation of non-traditional compounders since the New England Compounding Center, a Mass.-based firm, caused a deadly outbreak of meningitis last fall (Viebeck, 6/10).

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