Lawmakers’ Approaches Differ On Over-The-Counter Birth Control
USA Today looks at the obstacles blocking congressional proposals to make birth control available over the counter. CQ Healthbeat reports that agreement has not coalesced around broad mental health legislation that stalled in the last Congress.
Over-The-Counter Birth Control Gets Boost In Congress
There is growing agreement among senators that women should have over-the-counter access to birth control pills, but that is where the consensus stops and familiar political battle lines over women's health care emerge. A group of Senate Democrats, led by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., unveiled a bill Tuesday that would allow birth control pills approved by the Food and Drug Administration to be sold without a prescription. (Davis, 6/9)
Consensus On Broad Mental Health Bill Remains Elusive
A revamped version of broad mental health legislation that stalled in the last Congress hasn’t won the support of some Democrats who backed a competing measure last year, with the holdouts poised to introduce targeted legislation on specific issues beginning Tuesday. California Democrat Doris Matsui plans to drop a House bill designed to clarify what information health care providers can share with family members and caregivers of patients with mental illness, according to her office. The bill would require the Health and Human Services Department to issue regulations consistent with guidance released last year and launch education programs for providers, administrators and patients and families. (Attias, 6/9)
Meanwhile, a showdown looms over funding of a VA hospital project in suburban Denver -
The Washington Post:
With Days To Go Before Funding Runs Out, Will Congress Give VA A Lifeline On Troubled Denver Hospital?
In a few days, the Department of Veterans Affairs will run out of money to keep workers on the job at the over-budget hospital under construction in suburban Denver. And once again, Congress and the agency could be heading toward a showdown over how to fix a boondoggle whose cost is now estimated at three times its original budget. A resolution needs to come very soon, but with little trust left between political leaders and VA officials, it looks like the project is in line to get another Band-Aid rather than an infusion of cash the agency wants to finally finish the hospital. (Rein, 6/10)