KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Health Care Issues At Center Of Capitol Hill Questions About ‘Political Intelligence’

Also in the news, new draft "track and trace" legislation was released by two congressional panels.

The Washington Post: How 'Political Intelligence' Can Come From Congress Itself
On the same morning a congressional staffer told investors in a private call that odds were improving for a government decision that would help medical insurers, trading spiked in a major health-care company. The private call, arranged by a consulting firm called Capitol Street, took place the morning of March 18. At 11:05 a.m., a certain form of speculative trading in Humana, the health insurer, jumped. That day, there was nearly 10 times as much volume as any day in the previous two weeks (Yang, Hamburger and ElBoghdady, 5/6).

Medpage Today: Congress Eyes 'Track-And-Trace' Drug Bill
Draft bills released by separate committees in the House and Senate would require manufacturers to place bar codes on packages of drugs they ship. That bar code would be scanned by wholesalers and other middlemen on the way to the pharmacy to track who has touched the drug and ensure the authenticity of products. The pharmacy would finally verify drugs it dispenses to ensure they have always been in safe hands. … While there is general agreement that there is a need for such a system, it's difficult to know how prevalent such counterfeiting and theft events are (Pittman, 5/6).

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