A July 13 Washington Business Journal article reported that the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee has finally defined its proposed “pay or play” mandate that would require businesses to provide health insurance to their employees. The committee would force businesses with 25 or more employees to provide health insurance coverage or pay a fine for each worker not covered.
According to a July 10 Washington Post article, the federal government is considering a mass vaccination campaign this fall against the H1N1 flu virus. Obama administration officials announced this during a “flu summit” at the National Institute of Health’s Bethesda, Maryland, campus on July 9. About 500 health officials from around the country were in attendance.
Democrats are struggling to come up with acceptable ways to finance healthcare reform, a July 8 New York Times article reports. Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the majority leader, and other Democrats have expressed opposition to taxing employer-based health benefits and have told Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.), chairman of the Finance Committee, to look for other options.
The protocol at Planned Parenthood clinics for administering RU-486, the drug that causes medical abortions, was officially changed in order to reduce the resulting serious infections and deaths. Planned Parenthood is now trying to claim kudos for making medical abortions safer, for the mother.
The American Hospital Association, the Federation of American Hospitals, and the Catholic Health Association agreed with the Obama administration on July 6 to accept $155 billion less in reimbursement from the federal government over the next 10 years. According to the Washington Post for July 7, a hospital negotiator said, “This is our attempt to act in good faith.”