KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Republicans Press Obama Administration For Information On Exchange Contractors

GOP members of the Senate Finance Committee say they want more information from the Department of Health and Human Services, even as House and Senate GOP lawmakers pressed for details about the contractors who will set up insurance markets in states that don't do it themselves.

Politico Pro: Finance Presses Schultz On HHS
Senate Finance Committee members grilled the nominee for HHS general counsel Thursday about the responsiveness and transparency of the agency, saying it has a long way to go. William Schultz, who currently serves as acting general counsel at HHS and has formerly worked at the Department of Justice and FDA, repeatedly promised that he'd take back to HHS the lawmakers’ message that the agency needs to deliver more information, more quickly. Ranking member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said he supported the confirmation of both Schultz and Christopher Meade, who also appeared before the committee as the nominee for general counsel of Treasury. But Hatch warned that both departments’ responsiveness to congressional inquiries had to improve (Smith, 12/20).

CQ HealthBeat: Senators Grill Nominees For General Counsel At HHS And Treasury
Senate Finance Committee members from both parties expressed frustration about a lack of responsiveness from the Obama administration during a confirmation hearing on the nominees for general counsel at the Departments of Treasury and Health and Human Services (Adams, 12/20)

CQ HealthBeat: Republicans Seek HHS Contracts For Federal Exchanges
House and Senate Republicans pressed Thursday for information about contractors the Department of Health and Human Services will hire to run federal health insurance exchanges in the states. Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa of California and Senate Finance ranking member Orrin G. Hatch of Utah wrote to Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius saying they want more information about the design, management and implementation of federal exchanges and federal-state exchange partnerships (12/20).

Meanwhile, a senator tries to get his bill to increase medical residencies moving.

CQ HealthBeat: Medical Training Bill Still Stalled In Senate
A Democratic senator's effort to amend a reauthorization of a medical-training program at children's hospitals is being held up by at least one Republican, more than a year after the legislation stalled in the Senate. Sheldon Whitehouse said he requested on Tuesday that the cloakroom "hotline" the Senate measure with his amendment, which would expand the Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education Payment Program to certain children's psychiatric hospitals. Under the hotline process, legislation and nominations are approved for Senate action by unanimous consent (Attias, 12/20).

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