Politics & policy

Insight into federal and state health care legislation & CMS regulation

Take as Needed....

The Senate approved a bill that requires federal-employee health plans to cover prescription contraceptives. The introduction of the arousal drug Viagra — and its subsequent (but often limited) coverage by many health plans — spurred women's groups to press Congress to pass legislation mandating reimbursement for contraceptives. The Senate passed the measure 91--5, and the House is expected to follow suit.... Medicaid could have saved up to $12 million by not using high-priced generic drugs when calculating reimbursement, according to the latest report from HHS' Office of Inspector General. HCFA's recommendation to states: Dispense brand-name drugs when generics are more expensive.... A Kaiser Family Foundation/Harvard University survey found that most Americans believe that politicians are less interested in making a serious attempt to pass consumer-protection health care laws than they are in making political hay with the issue.

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