Malpractice Reform, IPAB Repeal, NIH Funding Among Hot Topics On Capitol Hill

News outlets report on various legislative proposals and planned funding cuts, and what kind of reactions they are drawing.

Modern Healthcare: Consumer Group, Lawmaker Weigh In On Malpractice Measure
The Public Citizen consumer advocacy organization is urging Congress to reject current medical tort reform legislation calling it "deeply flawed." Meanwhile, a Democratic member of the House is asking her GOP colleagues to disconnect the malpractice measure from legislation calling for the repeal of the Independent Payment Advisory Board. In a letter to members of the House, Public Citizen said the tort reform measure would "prove devastating to medical malpractice victims, overturn numerous state laws and escalate the costs of existing government programs by saddling the state with costs created by private wrongdoers" and it would also "shield physicians and hospitals, drug and medical device manufacturers and nursing home operators from accountability" (Robeznieks, 3/19).

CQ HealthBeat: NIH Officials Aiming To Head Off 8 Percent Budget Cut In FY 2013
National Institutes of Health officials are heading into a House appropriations hearing Tuesday with an 8 percent fiscal 2013 budget cut hanging over their heads -- a reduction that would have a "devastating" impact on medical research, says agency Director Francis Collins. The cut would occur automatically in January 2013 under the budget control law unless an alternative plan becomes law later this year to meet deficit reduction targets (Reichard, 3/19).

CQ HealthBeat: Repealing IPAB Will Result In More Drastic Alternatives, Analysts Say
While some members of Congress say if the Independent Payment Advisory Board gets up and running there will be draconian provider and benefit cuts, several economic analysts said Monday that without the panel, the situation would be worse. The board, which House Republicans plan to vote to repeal this week, would move Medicare toward more efficient modes of care and better value for the dollar, said Peter Orszag, vice chairman of global banking at Citigroup (Bristol, 3/19).

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.