Posts Tagged ‘hhs’




“Who is Tom Price, Trump’s pick for HHS?

Washington (CNN) While some Republicans have signaled major changes to Obamacare are a long time in the making, President-elect Donald Trump has sent a strong signal that the law’s days are numbered, no matter what.

That signal is Rep. Tom Price, Trump’s pick to head the Department of Health and Human Services.
The Georgia Republican and medical doctor is among the law’s most studied and determined opponents.” via


  • Voted YES on banning federal health coverage that includes abortion. (May 2011)
  • Voted NO on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines. (Jan 2007)
  • Voted NO on allowing human embryonic stem cell research. (May 2005)
  • Voted YES on restricting interstate transport of minors to get abortions. (Apr 2005)
  • Rated 100% by the NRLC, indicating a pro-life stance. (Dec 2006)
  • Bar funding for abortion under federal Obamacare plans. (Jul 2010)
  • Prohibit federal funding for abortion. (May 2011)
  • Prohibit federal funding to groups like Planned Parenthood. (Jan 2011)
  • No family planning assistance that includes abortion. (Jan 2013)
  • Grant the pre-born equal protection under 14th Amendment. (Jan 2007)


  • Voted NO on more funding for Mexico to fight drugs. (Jun 2008)
  • Rated -10 by NORML, indicating a “hard-on-drugs” stance. (Dec 2006)
  • Rated 0% by NORML, indicating an anti-legalization stance. (Jan 2014)


  • Voted NO on $2 billion more for Cash for Clunkers program. (Jul 2009)
  • Voted NO on protecting free-roaming horses and burros. (Jul 2009)
  • Voted NO on environmental education grants for outdoor experiences. (Sep 2008)
  • Voted NO on $9.7B for Amtrak improvements and operation thru 2013. (Jun 2008)
  • Voted NO on increasing AMTRAK funding by adding $214M to $900M. (Jun 2006)
  • Voted NO on barring website promoting Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump. (May 2006)
  • Voted YES on deauthorizing “critical habitat” for endangered species. (Sep 2005)
  • Stop considering manure as pollutant or hazardous. (Sep 2011)
  • Rated 13% by HSLF, indicating an anti-animal welfare voting record. (Jan 2012)
  • Strengthen prohibitions against animal fighting. (Jan 2007)


  • Republicans have offered ideas and solutions on healthcare. (Jan 2010)
  • Address lawsuit abuse; it doesn’t raise taxes by a penny. (Jan 2010)
  • More Medical Savings Accounts; less medical malpractice. (Nov 2004)
  • Voted YES on the Ryan Budget: Medicare choice, tax & spending cuts. (Apr 2011)
  • Voted YES on repealing the “Prevention and Public Health” slush fund. (Apr 2011)
  • Voted NO on regulating tobacco as a drug. (Apr 2009)
  • Voted NO on expanding the Children’s Health Insurance Program. (Jan 2009)
  • Voted YES on overriding veto on expansion of Medicare. (Jul 2008)
  • Voted NO on giving mental health full equity with physical health. (Mar 2008)
  • Voted NO on Veto override: Extend SCHIP to cover 6M more kids. (Jan 2008)
  • Voted NO on adding 2 to 4 million children to SCHIP eligibility. (Oct 2007)
  • Voted NO on requiring negotiated Rx prices for Medicare part D. (Jan 2007)
  • Voted YES on denying non-emergency treatment for lack of Medicare co-pay. (Feb 2006)
  • Repeal any federal health care takeover. (Jul 2010)
  • Deauthorize funding for Obamacare. (Jul 2010)
  • Repeal the Job-Killing Health Care Law. (Jan 2011)



Benjamin says that Price’s record in public-health policy is particularly worrying. In 2008, for instance, Price voted against allowing the FDA to regulate tobacco as a drug.

Price has also pushed to repeal the Public Health and Prevention Fund (PHPF), a roughly $1 billion to $2 billion fund provided yearly to the CDC to support public-health programmes. Owing to past budget cuts, the agency has used this money to bolster spending on existing programmes, such as research on lead toxicity. Price has criticized the PHPF as a “slush fund”, but Benjamin says that it has been essential for the agency. “Should he be confirmed, we’d be working very hard to try and change his mind to convince him that prevention is an important issue he should champion,” he says.

And Price has also consistently opposed embryonic stem cell research, saying in 2009 that Obama’s executive order to permit such research would “force taxpayers to subsidize research that will destroy human embryos”.

He has also supported numerous efforts to defund the reproductive non-profit healthcare group Planned Parenthood” Via



Price has been outspoken against research that involves embryonic stem cells.
In 2005, Price spoke with Georgia’s Athens Banner-Herald newspaper about the “ethical dilemma” of stem cell research. Embryonic stem cells, which have the potential to treat myriad medical conditions, are controversial because they derive from early embryos.
The cells are of interest for research because they have the potential to develop into many different cell types, and so scientists believe they can be used to generate cells and tissues that could be used for cell-based therapies.

See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.

“There are people who believe any form of embryonic stem cell research necessitates the destruction of human life,” Price said. “I can’t overestimate the importance of that statement.” And for people who believe that, “stem cell scientists are threatening your fundamental principles,” he said.
According to the National Institutes of Health’s current guidelines on human stem cell research, embryonic stem cells are eligible for research with NIH funding if they were created using in vitro fertilization and are no longer needed or were donated by individuals seeking reproductive treatment.
Price has voted against expanding embryonic stem cell research. As HHS secretary he would oversee NIH grants to research on embryonic stem cells.” Via
Last year Price joined other Georgia Congressmen in signing a letter of support for fired Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran, who was terminated after not obtaining permission to use his official capacity to promote a book he wrote that disparages LGBT people under the cloak of religion. The letter falsely described both Cochran’s actions and the reason for his termination.Price, as On The Issues details, voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act and against prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation. He voted to constitutionally define marriage as one-man-one-woman and to amend the Constitution to define traditional marriage. He’s earned a 0% rating from the Human Rights Campaign and a 17% rating from the NAACP.

Rep. Price, 62, opposes a woman’s right to choose, he opposes stem cell research, and supports banning all federal funding of Planned Parenthood. He also supports granting embryos personhood status and thus equal protection under 14th Amendment.” Via 


What will Tom Price as head of the Department of Health and Human Services mean to you?  Please comment below.

Medical News: What’s in the Healthcare Reform Law – in Washington-Watch, Reform from MedPage Today

In OFF THE BEATEN PATH on September 12, 2010 at 10:25 am

What’s in the Healthcare Reform Law

By Emily P. Walker, Washington Correspondent, MedPage Today
Published: April 01, 2010

WASHINGTON — When President Barack Obama signed the “add-on” bill this week, he completed the process of sweeping healthcare reform that is projected to provide insurance coverage to an additional 32 million people and cost $938 billion.

Here’s a summary of the key provisions dealing with coverage, quality improvement, and tax changes in the new law and its add-on bill.

Effective This Year

Starting immediately, HHS will set up an annual review process to make sure insurance companies aren’t raising premiums excessively. Insurers will also have to justify any major premium increases.

The law also gives the FDA the immediate authority to approve generic versions of biologic drugs. Biologic manufacturers are granted 12 years of exclusive use before follow-on generics can be developed.

The law directs the immediate formation of task forces to develop, update, and disseminate recommendations on the use of clinical and community prevention services.

Within 60 days of passage, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) must create uniform language that clearly describes health insurance benefits. That language must be used by all insurance companies, so patients can easily understand and compare benefits. The agency will also immediately begin awarding grants to states to set up insurance information centers, which will answer consumer questions about health insurance options.

Within 90 days, HHS will create a high-risk insurance pool for those with preexisting conditions. The pool will operate through 2013. Eligible participants include those with preexisting medical conditions who have not had insurance for the previous six months.

Each state is required, by July 1, to create a Web site where residents can easily see what insurance options are available to them.

Within six months, health insurers must eliminate lifetime dollar limits on policy benefits and “unreasonable annual limits.”

The law also prohibits a health insurer from rescinding a plan once an enrollee is covered, except if he or she has knowingly committed fraud, such as lying about a preexisting condition on an insurance application. Even then, the insurance company would have to notify the enrollee prior to terminating coverage.

Other restrictions on health insurers that take effect within six months include:

  • A ban on discrimination against lower-wage workers
  • Prohibition against preexisting condition exclusions for children
  • Allow dependents who are unmarried to stay on their parent’s health insurance until they are 26

Also within six months, hospitals must publish a list of their standard charges for items and services.

By Jan. 1, 2011, insurers must eliminate copays for certain preventive health services, including those that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) considers the most likely to improve health; immunizations recommended by the CDC; screenings and preventive care for women that are recommended by the Health Resources and Services Administration, including annual mammograms.

The law specifically prohibits use of the USPSTF’s most recent recommendations on mammograms to determine coverage decisions.

Within a year, the Secretary of HHS must create a new reporting system, and health insurers will be required to report how their plans improve health outcomes, prevent hospital readmissions, improve patient safety and reduce medical errors, and implement wellness activities.

Within two years, health insurers will be required to submit an annual report to HHS breaking down what percentage of premium revenue is spent on paying for clinical services, for activities that improve healthcare quality, and other non-claims costs.

Those reports will be made public on the HHS Web site. The provision is intended to help cut healthcare costs.

Coverage Requirements for Individuals

Starting in 2014, most individuals will be required to have health insurance or else pay a penalty of $95.

That penalty will rise to $325 in 2015 and to $695 in 2016. In the years thereafter, the penalty will be indexed to the cost of living.

The penalty for minors who don’t have insurance will be one-half the penalty for adults.

Certain exceptions are allowed for those who object to health insurance on religious grounds, those who cannot afford coverage and receive a hardship waiver, those for whom the lowest cost plan option exceeds 8% of annual income, Indian tribe members, and those who are incarcerated.

New Insurance Options

The law creates new state-based insurance exchanges called American Health Benefit Exchanges, through which individuals can purchase coverage. The Exchanges must be established by 2014.

All the plans in the Exchanges must meet certain quality and coverage benchmarks, but insurers can offer one of four types of plans: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum, which provide increasing levels of coverage and out-of-pocket spending.

Each state exchange will be required to operate a toll-free hotline and a calculator so consumers can figure out what the costs would be for various plans.

Members of Congress and their staffs will purchase plans through the Exchanges.

The Government Accountability Office will conduct an ongoing assessment of the progress of the exchanges, and whether physicians are accepting patients enrolled in government health programs, including the Exchanges.

The law will also create Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Exchanges, through which small businesses with up to 100 employees can purchase coverage, beginning in 2017.

States will have the option to create a basic health plan, which will be open to uninsured individuals with incomes between 133% and 200% of the federal poverty level who are eligible to receive premium subsidies in the Exchanges.

States choosing to create their own plans must offer basic coverage and ensure that enrollees won’t pay more in premiums than they would have in the Exchanges. The federal government will pay states 95% of the funds that would have otherwise gone toward subsidies for purchase of an Exchange plan.

The law also creates a federal program to assist with the operation of nonprofit, member-run health insurance companies known as Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans (CO-OP). Although co-ops were, at one time, touted as a major component of heatlhcare reform, in the end, the government will appropriate just $6 billion for the program.

Also part of the reform law is a temporary $5 billion reinsurance program for employer-sponsored health plans to provide coverage for retirees ages 55 to 64 and their families. It will reimburse plans for 80% of retiree claims between $15,000 and $90,000….

(to read more click link below)

via Medical News: What’s in the Healthcare Reform Law – in Washington-Watch, Reform from MedPage Today.

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