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The Lead

Crunch Time Again for Health Insurance Sign-Ups

December 15, 2014 8:51 am | by RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press | News | Comments

President Barack Obama's push to cover America's uninsured faces another big test today. This time, it's not only how the website functions, but how well the program itself works for millions who are starting to count on it.     

Health Law Sign-Ups Pick Up

December 11, 2014 10:58 am | News | Comments

The Obama administration says sign-ups picked up last week under the president's health care law...

Lawmakers Wary of Genetically Modified Food Labels

December 10, 2014 2:06 pm | by MARY CLARE JALONICK, Associated Press | News | Comments

Republicans and Democrats on a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee questioned Wednesday...

E-Cigarette Tech Takes Off as Regulation Looms

December 8, 2014 7:58 am | by MICHAEL FELBERBAUM, AP Tobacco Writer | News | Comments

Just a few years ago, early adopters of e-cigarettes got their fix by clumsily screwing together...

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HealthCare.gov Average Premiums Going Up in 2015

December 4, 2014 1:12 pm | by RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press | News | Comments

Many HealthCare.gov customers will face higher costs next year, the Obama administration acknowledged in a report that shows average premiums rising modestly. However, officials said millions of consumers who are currently enrolled can mitigate the financial consequences if they are willing to shop around for another plan in a marketplace that's becoming more competitive.

Advocates Urge Swift Senate Vote on Disability Aid

December 4, 2014 8:14 am | by HOPE YEN, Associated Press | News | Comments

Supporters of legislation that would allow Americans with disabilities to open tax-free savings accounts to pay for long-term expenses are urging a swift vote in the Senate after the House overwhelmingly passed the bill.     

FDA Wary of Lifting Gay Blood Donor Ban

December 3, 2014 8:26 am | by MATTHEW PERRONE, AP Health Writer | News | Comments

Government health advisers have concerns about lifting a nationwide ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men, despite growing pressure from gay rights advocates, medical experts and blood banks.         

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Facing Health Law Hikes, Consumers Mull Options

November 25, 2014 1:34 pm | by RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press | News | Comments

Consumers across most of America will see their health insurance premiums go up next year for popular plans under President Barack Obama's health care law.                

Report: Sub-Standard Medicine Floods Afghan Market

November 19, 2014 8:08 am | News | Comments

Half of all medicine available on the Afghan market has either been smuggled into the country or made under sub-standard conditions in neighboring Pakistan, according to a report released on Wednesday.        

Administration Says HealthCare.gov Working Well

November 18, 2014 9:07 am | by RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press | News | Comments

As a crucial second sign-up season gears up, the Obama administration said Sunday that HealthCare.gov is stable and working well, a far cry from last year's frozen computer screens and frustrated customers.          

Missouri Panel Formed to Investigate Attorney General Koster’s Pharmaceutical Ties

November 12, 2014 3:03 pm | by SUMMER BALLENTINE, Associated Press | News | Comments

Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones on Wednesday created a committee of lawmakers to review allegations that Attorney General Chris Koster has been influenced by lobbyist perks and campaign contributions.         

VA Chief Announces Sweeping Reforms

November 11, 2014 8:49 am | Videos | Comments

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald announced the largest restructuring in the agency's history in the wake of a scandal over delayed care.                  

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Administration Dials Back Goal for Health Law Sign-Ups

November 10, 2014 3:36 pm | by RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press | News | Comments

With sign-up season launching this weekend, the Obama administration sharply dialed down expectations Monday for the second year of the president's push to provide health insurance for all Americans.         

Supreme Court Will Look at 'Obamacare' Subsidies

November 10, 2014 8:43 am | by MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a new challenge to President Barack Obama's health care law — a case that threatens subsidies that help millions of low- and middle-income people afford their health insurance premiums.     

Mexican Meth Increasingly Supplanting At-Home Labs

November 10, 2014 8:21 am | by JIM SALTER, Associated Press | News | Comments

The nation's Heartland is ridding itself of the scourge of homemade methamphetamine, with lab seizures down by nearly half in many high-meth states. Any celebration is muted: Meth use remains high, but people are increasingly turning to cheaper, imported Mexican meth rather than making their own.

Serialization: Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute

October 30, 2014 11:11 am | by Kevin Swartz, Senior Engineer, IPS; Tina Gushue, Process Engineer, IPS | Blogs | Comments

A reminder to pharma manufacturers, the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) deadlines are quickly approaching. Have you planned for the implementation of Transaction Documents for your packaged products and how to introduce them into your supply chain? Have you developed a strategy for implementing packaging serialized data and infrastructure?

North Dakota Court Bans Use of Drug in Abortions

October 29, 2014 8:44 am | by JAMES MacPHERSON, Associated Press | News | Comments

The North Dakota Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a state law that limits the use of drugs to perform abortions, a move abortion-rights supporters say will end the use of medications to perform the procedure.       

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States Ask Congress to Intervene on Drug Prices

October 29, 2014 8:24 am | News | Comments

In a letter Tuesday to key congressional committees, the National Association of Medicaid Directors said lawmakers should consider everything from outright price controls on manufacturers to federal help for states trying to pay for the new medications.

HealthCare.gov's EZ Form Not for Legal Immigrants

October 23, 2014 8:26 am | by RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press | News | Comments

HealthCare.gov's new EZ application for coverage can't be used by legal immigrants or naturalized U.S. citizens, prompting concern that many Hispanics and Asians will go right back into long enrollment queues this year.      

How the New HealthCare.gov Stacks Up With the Old

October 14, 2014 8:23 am | by RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press; CALVIN WOODWARD, Associated Press | News | Comments

HealthCare.gov, the website for health insurance under President Barack Obama's health care law, has been revamped as its second enrollment season approaches. But things are still complicated, since other major provisions of the Affordable Care Act are taking effect for the first time. A look at website and program changes just ahead.

Next Edition of HealthCare.gov is Unveiled

October 9, 2014 8:41 am | by RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Obama administration unveiled a new version of HealthCare.gov on Wednesday, with some improvements as well as at least one early mistake and a new challenge. Officials also said that HealthCare.gov won't display premiums for 2015 until the second week of November. Open enrollment season runs Nov. 15 through Feb. 15. Coverage can start as early as Jan. 1.

Health Law Waivers: Too Complicated to Claim?

October 8, 2014 9:01 am | by RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press | News | Comments

Millions of Americans may qualify for waivers from the most unpopular part of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. But getting that exemption could be an ordeal. Community groups are concerned about a convoluted process for waivers from the law's tax penalty on people who remain uninsured.

VA Moves to Ax Four Senior Execs in Scandal Response

October 7, 2014 8:20 am | by MATTHEW DALY, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Veterans Affairs Department said it is firing four senior executives as officials move to crack down on wrongdoing following a nationwide scandal over long wait times for veterans seeking medical care, and falsified records covering up the delays.

Senators: Widen Medicaid Program for Frail Seniors

September 29, 2014 12:16 pm | by HOPE YEN, Associated Press | News | Comments

More than a dozen U.S. senators from both parties are calling on the Obama administration to broaden a Medicaid program for the nation's frailest seniors, calling it a proven alternative to pricier nursing home care as states seek to limit long-term medical costs.

WHO: Ebola Vaccine On The Way

September 26, 2014 10:12 am | News | Comments

The World Health Organization says there should be thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines available in the coming months and they could eventually be given to health care workers and other people who have had contact with the sick.

Limits on Overseas Mergers Prompt Renewed Debate

September 23, 2014 8:05 am | by JOSH LEDERMAN, Associated Press; JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Obama administration's decision to curb the ability of U.S. corporations to skirt taxes by merging with foreign companies kicked off an immediate election-season debate over when and how to tackle the nation's complex corporate tax code.  

FDA Revises Food Safety Rules Due Next Year

September 22, 2014 8:16 am | by MARY CLARE JALONICK, Associated Press | News | Comments

The Food and Drug Administration on Friday revised sweeping food safety rules proposed last year after farmers complained that the regulations could hurt business. The new proposals would relax water quality standards and allow farmers to harvest crops sooner after using raw manure as fertilizer.

Concerns Raised over 'Obamacare' Abortion Coverage

September 16, 2014 8:30 am | by RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press | News | Comments

A nonpartisan congressional agency is raising new questions about compliance with a key compromise on abortion that allowed the federal health care law to pass in 2010. The Government Accountability Office said in a report released late Monday that only 1 of 18 insurers it reviewed was separately itemizing a charge for coverage of elective abortions on enrollees' bills.

Hurdles for Obama Health Law in Second Sign-Up Season

September 15, 2014 8:39 am | by RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, Associated Press | News | Comments

Potential complications await consumers as President Barack Obama's health care law approaches its second open enrollment season, just two months away. Don't expect a repeat of last year's website meltdown, but the new sign-up period could expose underlying problems with the law itself that are less easily fixed than a computer system.

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