Medicare Advantage Premiums Drop an Average of 7% and Enrollment Is Up 10%—That Must Make Republicans Just Want to Cry

Robert Laszewski

Posted 2/6/12 on Health Policy and Marketplace Review

Medicare Advantage would appear to be a fantastic success—senior premiums are dropping and enrollment is increasing.

Listening to Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius last week, you would think private Medicare plans were a Democratic idea and this is their success. Many industry observers, including me, have worried that Medicare Advantage benefits would shrink and premiums would rise because the new health care law reduced federal payments to the plans by $136 billion over the next decade.

Continue reading “Medicare Advantage Premiums Drop an Average of 7% and Enrollment Is Up 10%—That Must Make Republicans Just Want to Cry”

A Theory on Why The FDA Hid Conflicts of Interest

Merrill Goozner

Posted 1/13/11 on Gooz News

Much has been made of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ decision last month to overrule Food and Drug Administration scientists and prohibit the over-the-counter sale of themorning after pill to minors. Many observers blasted the move as a blatant political move by the White House, which didn’t want to antagonize social conservatives ahead of this year’s election.

Now there is the possibility politicians on Capitol Hill are also influencing some choices being made at the FDA. It involves the agency’s decision last month to appoint at least three scientists to a high-profile drug safety advisory committee without disclosing they had conflicts of interest with the company – Bayer – whose product – birth control pills – was up for review.

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CLASS is Dismissed

Roger Collier

Posted 10/16/11 on Health Care Reform Update

It happened in the usual Washington way: first, the rumor, then the denial, and then (on a Friday, so as to miss the weekday press), the official admission. The Affordable Care Act’s Community Living Assistance Services and Support program (the CLASS Act) has been abandoned by the Department of Health and Human Services.

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