The White House announced Tuesday that Cecilia Muñoz, President Obama’s point person on immigration, will be director of the Domestic Policy Council, a high-ranking aide position that oversees policies on issues including education, healthcare, and immigration. Muñoz is currently director of intergovernmental affairs, acting as a liaison between the White House and Mayors, Governors, tribal leaders, and other officials in state and local governments.
In an effort to discourage the Mexican government's violations of the human rights of Central American migrants, last Friday more than 30 House Democrats urged Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to put pressure on the Mexican government by making any American aid to Mexico contingent on Mexico's proper treatment of Central American migrants.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced a new "immigration index" that would measure Southwest border security beyond the conventional way of observing state and local statistics, which focus mainly on data such as arrests and drug seizures. The new index, Napolitano claims, will look beyond bare crime statistics and focus more on environmental damage, economic impacts, and concerns of personal safety of Americans residing near the Mexican border.
While fielding questions from the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health regarding President Obama’s 2013 budget proposal, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius alleged that a reduction in U.S. pregnancies will offset the costs for employers and insurers to comply with a new mandate requiring all healthcare plans to cover sterilizations, contraception, and abortifacient drugs. "The reduction in the number of pregnancies compensates for the cost of contraception," Sebelius stated, and the estimated cost will go "down not up."
A Texas doctor was arrested Tuesday for allegedly "selling his signature" to process nearly $375 million in fraudulent Medicare and Medicaid claims in a scheme that was carried on for half a decade; $350 million was improperly billed for Medicare and $24 million for Medicaid. In what is being characterized as one of the largest healthcare scams organized by a single doctor, critics are suggesting that the development only solidifies the fact that the government’s Medicare and Medicaid fraud detection system is gravely flawed.
In a move that is fated to incite political mutiny, Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla., left) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.) unveiled a bold Medicare reform proposal on Thursday that would expedite a transition to private health insurance, increase the eligibility age for oncoming seniors, and enact higher premiums for middle- to upper-class retirees.
President Obama, along with the Democratic-led Senate and formerly Democratic-led House, touted the 2010 healthcare overhaul as a landmark law that would curb the rise in U.S. healthcare costs. However, according to a new report released last week by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), reform programs akin to those endorsed by ObamaCare have neither abated healthcare costs nor salvaged any significant amount of government revenue.
Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, more than 1,200 companies have been accorded waivers from the healthcare reform law, the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) disclosed Friday, the final day that the agency is required to report the data.
After nominating Donald Berwick as head of Medicare and Medicaid, President Obama has now nominated Henry Aaron as head of the Social Security Advisory Board, and they are both proponents of healthcare rationing. Berwick, who Obama appointed through executive measures, circumventing the conventional Senate confirmation, has stated, "The decision is not whether or now we will ration care…. The decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open. And right now, we are doing it blindly."
The Obama administration’s latest effort in its "We Can’t Wait" jobs strategy is a $1-billion grant program for organizations to hire, train, and deploy new healthcare workers. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (left) announced Monday that the department will disperse the grant money over three years to generate jobs which enhance healthcare through innovation. "Both public and private community organizations around the country are finding innovative solutions to improve our health care system and the Health Care Innovation Challenge will help jump-start these efforts," Sebelius affirmed in a statement.