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Beltway Buzz: June 2014

Beltway Buzz: June 2014

June 16, 2014 0 Comments

What Your Clients Need To Know: BIG news for physicians and teaching hospitals. In the name of transparency, the Physician Payments Sunshine Act now requires reporting of transactions of value between product manufacturers monitored by the FDA and health care professionals. Confused? This fun infographic breaks it down for you.

Welcome To The Big Time: Stop the presses! Congress finally came to an agreement in confirming Sylvia Mathews Burwell as the next Health and Human Services secretary. Burwell has pledged to be “transparent and accessible” in her new role. Gotta say, we really like the sound of this whole “bipartisan” thing.

Did You Know?: DC is the fittest city in the nation. Not to brag, but we have lower death rates, ample parks and a healthy appetite for fruits and vegetables. We also have a propensity for scandal and the highest stress levels in the nation. So there’s that…

Obama Is “Madder than H*ll”: DC’s latest scandal du jour = resignation. Veterans Affairs (VA) Sec. Eric Shinseki resigned after an independent report found a corrupt VA hospital was lying about how long vets had to wait to see a doctor. Rut row. VA health centers around the country are under investigation for allegedly using the same shady paperwork. House leadership says the resignation isn’t enough and – big shocker – proposed legislation to ensure vets get proper care. The field is wide open now that Cleveland Clinic head honcho Dr. Delos “Toby” Cosgrove took his name out of contention for the spot. Any takers?

Makin’ Moves: White House press sec and boy detective Jay Carney is also resigning his post after more than three years as POTUS’ chief spokesman. His deputy Josh Earnest will serve as replacement. Who is this Josh character? Well, in Obama’s words: “His name describes his demeanor.” Apparently, Josh Earnest is good at joshin’ or he is earnest – you can pick.

Ixnay On The Bengay: Your grandpa isn’t the only one with back pain! In a victory for chronic pain patients everywhere, the NIH launched a federal pain database, called the Interagency Pain Research Portfolio. Researchers hope that the collaboration between six federal agencies will shed light on research gaps that may one day help those suffering from chronic pain. We can get behind that.

Food Fight: Our favorite FLOTUS isn’t giving up her push to lower childhood obesity rates. With some schools grumbling about the cost of healthier meals, House republicans are working to advance legislation that would allow the schools to opt out of nutrition rules. The First Lady fought back with a NYT op-ed urging lawmakers to act responsibly. If history has taught us anything (the GOP thinks pizza sauce counts as a veggie, remember?), it’s that Washington is unpredictable.

Update On The ACA: More news, more updates. Here’s the latest on what’s happening:

  • Despite Enrollment Success, ACA Still Can’t Sit With Us: Americans’ attitudes on the health law have changed only marginally since the open enrollment period ended, says a Gallup poll. Forty-three percent of Americans approve of the ACA, while a majority continues to disapprove of it.
  • A Little Paperwork Dilemma: We’re not so sure “the dog ate my homework” will fly for HHS. Apparently two million ACA enrollees have data discrepancies that could jeopardize their coverage. Got a friend who used the exchange to buy insurance? Do them a solid and send this their way.

Epic Tweet: The Central Intelligence Agency joined the twitterverse last week…or did they? “@CIA: We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet.”

*CCA DC’s Emily Herschel also contributed to this article.

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