First Edition: July 12, 2010

Today's health policy headlines include previews of the expected release of a national strategy to curb the AIDS epidemic and reviews of a White House official's Sunday talk show defense of the Berwick nomination.

Administration Plans To Release New HIV/AIDS Strategy This Week
Kaiser Health News staff writer Kate Steadman reports: "Federal officials plan to announce Tuesday a national strategy designed to ramp up and better coordinate the government's attack on the country's HIV/AIDS epidemic, an effort to deliver on a Barack Obama campaign promise delayed by the health care overhaul debate and other issues" (Kaiser Health News).

Obama To Outline Plan To Cut HIV Infections
President Obama will unveil a new national strategy this week to curb the AIDS epidemic by slashing the number of new infections and increasing the number of people who get care and treatment (The New York Times). 

Struggling States Seeking More Aid From Washington
Governors hamstrung by the sluggish economic rebound in their states and bound to balance their own budgets are pressing anew for Washington to step up with more help, some say even if it means adding to the nation's red ink (The Associated Press).

Axelrod: Berwick Won't Implement British-Style Health System
White House adviser David Axelrod defended the recess appointment of Donald Berwick to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and sought to dispel concerns among some Republicans that Mr. Berwick favored a nationalized health-care system (The Wall Street Journal Washington Wire).

White House: Berwick Recess Appointment Key To 'Move Forward'
White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod defended the recess appointment of Donald Berwick to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, saying it was a necessary move to fill a key position in the healthcare system (The Hill's Healthwatch).

AMA Not Feeling Much Love Now
Months after delivering its crucial endorsement of the health care overhaul, the American Medical Association has found itself with fewer friends on Capitol Hill and more critics questioning its lobbying savvy (Politico).

Debt Commission Leaders Paint Gloomy Picture
Republican Alan Simpson and Democrat Erskine Bowles told a meeting of the National Governors Association that everything needs to be considered — including curtailing popular tax breaks, such as the home mortgage deduction, and instituting a financial trigger mechanism for gaining Medicare coverage (The Associated Press).

Orszag' Successor As Budget Director Faces A Sea Of Red Ink To Deal With
Orszag’s successor as director of the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is likely to write budgets that are much more austere than the ones crafted during the first two years of the administration. The $13 trillion national debt is on an unsustainable upward path, hastened by the recession and growing health care costs, and the OMB must find ways to rein it in (The Hill).

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