House Unlikely To Seek Health Law Defunding In Bill To Fund Government
Politico reports that Speaker John Boehner has hinted that the House will not seek to end health law funding in the bill that Congress is expected to pass to keep the government running.
Politico: House Push To Defund Health Care Law Unlikely
The House's top Republican hinted he wouldn't push to defund the health care law in a short-term government funding resolution that's expected to come up this fall. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said that the House will "have agreement with the Senate" on a continuing resolution to fund the government after Sept. 30. The Senate, run by Democrats, won't agree to defund the health care law they labored to pass (Sherman, 7/24).
Meanwhile, another item on the congressional agenda is dealing with a scheduled Medicare pay cut for doctors.
Medscape: 1-Year Medicare 'Doc Fix' Looks To Avoid 'Fiscal Cliff'
A bill introduced by Rep. Michael Burgess, MD (R-TX), gives Congress a quick-and-dirty option for averting a 27% cut in Medicare pay for physicians in January by — in lawmaker parlance — kicking the can down the road for another year. Of the 3 bills floated so far this year to deal with the Medicare reimbursement crisis, the legislation from Dr. Burgess appears to be the most passable. His so-called "doc fix," introduced July 18, would freeze Medicare rates at their current level through 2013, thereby postponing the cut until January 1, 2014 (Lowes, 7/24).
Some lawmakers are raising questions about Americans' privacy, including in regard to their health records.
Boston Globe: Data Brokers Stir Privacy Concerns From Congress
Concerned about the growing reach of data brokers into the day-to-day lives of Americans, members of Congress, including Representative Edward Markey of Massachusetts, are demanding answers from ... some of the country's biggest collectors of personal data as part of a fact-finding process that could lead to regulating the lucrative industry. … In letters to nine ... data brokers, the bipartisan group of eight elected officials noted the rising concerns over how the data is being amassed — from age, race, marital status and education level to political leanings, buying habits, and health conditions of an individual (Calvan, 7/24).