Immigrants' Health Care Costs Are Hot Topic On Capitol Hill

Other media reports detail Sen. Ron Wyden's proposal to allow accountable care organizations to focus on the sickest, most costly patients; questions from Rep. Darrell Issa, R.-Calif., about the navigator program's funding; and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's, D-Calif., angry response to a reporter's question about late-term abortions.

Los Angeles Times: Boxer To Push Funding For Health Costs Of Uninsured Immigrants
Sen. Barbara Boxer plans to push for Washington to provide $250 million and perhaps more to help local and state governments pay the cost of healthcare to uninsured immigrants who seek legal status under legislation now before the Senate. Officials from Los Angeles County--home to an estimated 1.1 million people in the country illegally, one-tenth of the nation's total--have expressed concern that local taxpayers will be "left holding the bag" to pay for the healthcare costs (Simon, 6/13).

The Washington Post's Post Politics: House Democrat Says GOP 'Having A Relapse' On Immigration Reform
Gutierrez is part of a bipartisan House group that has been working privately on a comprehensive immigration reform bill, but the group has suffered delays and setbacks for months. Most recently, one of the original eight members, Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), dropped out of the coalition, citing a standoff over requirements related to health care for illegal immigrants (Nakamura, 6/13).

National Journal: Pelosi Lashes Out At Reporter's Question On Morality Of Late-Term Abortions
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi flashed unusual public anger and perhaps some confusion Thursday during a news conference when asked about the "moral difference" between late-term elective abortions and the infant deaths that led to murder convictions for Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell (House, 6/13).

The Hill: Issa: HHS Improperly Funding Part Of ObamaCare Implementation
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) accused the Obama administration on Thursday of disobeying a ban on the use of certain funds to implement part of President Obama's healthcare law. Issa, the chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said the Health and Human Services Department appears to have "intentionally circumvented an explicit federal funding ban in the interest of convenience and political expediency." He sought more information about how the HHS has funded a program to hire "navigators" to help people understand new coverage options under the healthcare law (Baker, 6/13).

The Hill: Wyden Calls For Changes In Key ObamaCare Program
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said Thursday that Congress needs to change a program in President Obama's healthcare law that aims to reduce healthcare costs and improve quality. ... He said Congress should remove a rule that requires ACOs to accept all patients who want to participate. The restriction was intended to prevent ACOs from cherry-picking healthy customers ... But Wyden said the requirement is having the opposite effect: barring doctors from creating ACOs that focus primarily on chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes (Baker, 6/13).

CQ HealthBeat: Save Medicare Through Tighter Focus On The Chronically Ill, Wyden Urges
Medicare's expanding effort to bring team-based care to seniors and the disabled is flawed because it prevents doctors from reaching out to treat the sickest, most costly patients and is limited to certain parts of the country, the senator next in line to chair the Senate Finance Committee said at a Washington, D.C., conference Thursday (Reichard, 6/13).

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