Today’s Headlines – August 3, 2012

Today’s early morning highlights from the major news organizations, including reports on a Capitol Hill hearing during which House GOP lawmakers grilled the director of the Internal Revenue Service on his agency’s health care subsidy ruling.

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Republicans Grill IRS Chief On Health Care Subsidy Ruling As Commissioner Defends His Agency
House Republicans on Thursday grilled the head of the Internal Revenue Service on the agency’s decision to apply the health care law’s tax credits in states that decide not to carry out a key provision of the statute. Commissioner Douglas Shulman defended the IRS rule that applies the tax credits to federal insurance exchanges, which are the bodies that will be developed to allow those without health insurance to buy it. He testified at a House hearing (8/2).

The Hill’s Healthwatch: IRS Defends Against GOP Charges Of ‘Illegal’ Healthcare Tax Credits
Republicans and conservative policy experts say the IRS has gone too far in implementing the Affordable Care Act, specifically its subsidies to help people buy private insurance (Baker, 8/2).

For more headlines …

Los Angeles Times: Patient Data Outage Exposes Risks Of Electronic Medical Records
Dozens of hospitals across the country lost access to crucial electronic medical records for about five hours during a major computer outage last week, raising fresh concerns about whether poorly designed technology can compromise patient care. Cerner Corp., a leading supplier of electronic health records to hospitals and doctors, said “human error” caused the outage July 23 that it said affected an unspecified number of hospitals that rely on the Kansas City, Mo., company to remotely store their medical information (Terhune, 8/3).

Politico: Obama: Women Make Up 80 Percent Of My Household
President Obama touted his record on women’s issues and stressed the women in his personal story as he addressed a major gathering of women bloggers on Thursday. “Women’s issues are front and center as they should be. But the conversation has been oversimplified a bit,” he told the BlogHer conference in New York, speaking live via video from Orlando, Fla. “Women are not a monolithic bloc, not an interest group.” … Though he listed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, education reform and his support for Planned Parenthood — among other issues — as accomplishments, much of his speech focused on his own relationships with women (Epstein, 8/2).

USA Today: Colorado Theater Shooting Victims Face Bills With Wounds
Like many victims, Moser, whose daughter was killed in the shooting and who suffered a miscarriage from her injuries, will face mental and physical trauma that will lead to a lifetime of medical costs. Her family and others will have to sort through dozens of victim funds and find their way through a maze of medical bills (Alcindor and Welch, 8/2).

The Hill’s Healthwatch: Study: Generic Drugs have Saved US $1 Trillion
Generic drugs have saved the healthcare system more than $1 trillion over the last decade, according to research released Thursday by the generics industry. The industry is pushing for expanded use of generics in Medicare and Medicaid, and the new research suggests that generics have helped control the government’s spending on prescription drugs (Baker, 8/2).