The plan in question, from Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan and Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, would keep traditional Medicare as an option for new retirees when it goes into effect in 2022, though private insurance would also be able to engage in regulated competition with the government-run health care plan. The eligibility age would remain at 65 under the new plan.
Ryan, the House budget chairman, caused an uproar among Democrats for his earlier plan to turn Medicare into a voucher-like program. House Republicans voted almost universally in favor of that plan in April. Democrats, who claim Republicans sought to "end Medicare" (a claim Politifact deemed "pants on fire"), have been planning to use that vote against vulnerable members of the GOP in 2012 elections.
Because of President Obama's health care overhaul, 2.5 million more young adults have health insurance coverage, according to a new analysis the administration released today.
Much of the president's health care overhaul, passed in 2010, won't go into effect until 2014. Still, the law is sure to be a hot topic in the 2012 election, and Mr. Obama is likely to use specific data like this to make the case he deserves re-election. Polls continue to show that the health care law is controversial, but reports like this could help the president make his case.
Since September of last year, young adults under the age of 26 have been able to stay on their parents' insurance plans because of the reforms. The measure has benefited more young people than expected, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. The Department said the change could be attributed to the health care overhaul by showing that coverage among adults ages 26 to 35 remained relatively steady. Furthermore, there were no changes in Medicaid coverage among young people.Continue »
Abortion rights groups and women's health advocates are expressing disappointment and anger today after the Health and Human Services Department decided to keep the Plan B morning-after pill from being sold over the counter.
Some are suggesting the move -- which overrules a decision from the Food and Drug Administration and the agency's scientists -- was made for political reasons. At least one former FDA official is calling on President Obama to reverse the decision.
"This is really unprecedented in terms of overturning a decision about a drug approval," Dr. Susan Wood, former FDA Assistant Commissioner for Women's Health and a professor of at the GW School of Public Health and Health Services, told Hotsheet. "This is taking decision making out of the hands of the FDA, and that is a terrible precedent not just for contraceptive products, but for all things the FDA does."Continue »
A pair of bipartisan lawmakers on Wednesday urged the Supreme Court to let television cameras broadcast their proceedings for the first time when they hear arguments next year about President Obama's landmark health care law.
The Supreme Court on Monday announced it will hear five-and-a-half hours of oral arguments on the health care overhaul's constitutionality in March, reviving the health reform debate just months before the 2012 elections.
Given the implications of the case, the court should consider providing live audio and video coverage of the proceedings, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa wrote in a letter to Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday.
"The constitutional questions presented in the case are momentous," Grassley wrote. "The public has a right to witness the legal arguments likely to be presented in the case."Continue »
And the court's decision could have a significant impact on the president's re-election prospects.
The Obama administration expressed confidence Monday that the controversial law will be upheld by the court and emphasized the need to put the matter "to rest once and for all."
"If we're going to have a fully functional system by 2014...it's important to put this to rest once and for all," Kathleen Sebelius, Health and Human Services Secretary, told reporters on Monday. "We are confident that the law is constitutional, will be upheld as constitutional."
And when asked the same day if Mr. Obama was "worried" about the timing of the decision, White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest said, "he's not."Continue »
Monday's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a challenge to the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act comes as the public opinion is divided over what should happen to the president's signature legislative achievement. According to a CBS News/New York Times Poll conducted last month, 45 percent of Americans think the health care law should be repealed, but nearly as many -- 41 percent -- say it should stay put. Among those who support repeal, 25 percent want to get rid of the entire law, and another 20 percent think just certain parts should be eliminated.
These views are similar to what they were in September when 47 percent backed repeal and 40 percent did not.
Many Republicans have argued that the health care law is unconstitutional because of a provision requiring individuals to purchase health insurance. While the poll question did not address the law's constitutionality, nearly eight in 10 Republicans think Congress should repeal the health care law, including 54 percent who want the entire law abolished. Democrats hold the opposing view: 60 percent support keeping the health care law as is. Independents are split.
Even though overall support for the health care law is mixed, majorities have favored some individual elements of the law, including requiring health insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions and allowing children to stay on their parents' health care plan until age 26. However, the provision that requires all Americans get health insurance is not as popular. A CNN/ORC Poll conducted this past summer found 54 percent of Americans oppose that provision.
Anita Perry, the wife of Republican presidential candidate and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, is a registered nurse but did not know in 2007 that her husband was going to sign a controversial executive order requiring all sixth grade girls to receive an HPV vaccine.
"I wish he'd talked to me first," Anita Perry said, in an interview with Parade Magazine for the October 23 issue.
"I thought he handled it the wrong way. I've been cochair for the March of Dimes immunization program, and I'm pro-immunization," she said. "I would have supported the vaccine."
Her husband has called the use of an executive order to enact the mandate a mistake, but he's stood by his support for the vaccine. The mandate was later overturned by the Texas legislature.Continue »
Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, a key voice in the GOP on the issue of health care, said Thursday he expects the Supreme Court to strike down a key element of President Obama's health care reforms -- the "individual mandate," which requires every American to acquire health insurance.
But regardless of whether the Court strikes it down or not, Ryan said he expects the reform package to send health care costs into a "death spiral."
"I think [the Supreme Court] will knock down the individual mandate, but the question is severability," Ryan said at the Washington Ideas Forum, a conference hosted by the Atlantic magazine and the Aspen Institute.Continue »
Twenty House Democrats on Thursday asked for a federal investigation into Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' failure to disclose his wife's income, charging that he may have violated the court's ethics rules.
In a letter to the arm of the court system responsible for overseeing judicial practices, the lawmakers called into question Thomas' impartiality toward President Obama's health care overhaul, just as the landmark legislation is headed to the top court.
Rep. Louise Slaughter of New York and her colleagues assert that Thomas has not complied with disclosure rules under the Ethics in Government Act and asks the Judicial Conference, a group comprised of judges that sets administrative policy for the courts, to refer the issue to the Justice Department for an investigation. The letter specifically charges Thomas failed to report nearly $700,000 of income earned by his wife, Virginia Thomas, for her work for the conservative Heritage Foundation from 2003 to 2007.Continue »
In May, when Mitt Romney's status as the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination appeared secure, the former Massachusetts governor sought to address his most pressing political liability when he promised to repeal and replace President Obama's national health care reform law.
In the same speech, which received lukewarm reviews at the time, Romney signaled that he would not back away from the mandate-driven plan he enacted in 2006, which remained anathema to Republican primary voters.
"I did what I believed was right for the people of my state," Romney said in his address at the University of Michigan.
In refusing to apologize for his Massachusetts plan, Romney was betting that the bigger political hazard would be to equivocate on the issue and thereby risk bolstering perceptions he has long fought of being willing to shift his positions to match the changing political winds.Continue »
Texas Gov. Rick Perry received more than $28,000 from the pharmaceutical company that makes a vaccine used in the battle against cervical cancer, significantly more than the $5,000 he acknowledged in Monday night's Republican debate in Florida.
During the debate, Perry found himself under heavy attack for an executive order he issued in 2007 mandating that schoolgirls receive a vaccine against human papillomavirus, or HPV, the virus responsible for most cases of cervical cancer. Fellow candidate Michele Bachmann charged that Perry had received thousands of dollars in contributions from Merck Pharmaceuticals to mandate the use of a vaccine that only Merck produced.
Perry responded, "The company was Merck, and it was a $5,000 contribution that I had received from them. I raise about $30 million. And if you're saying that I can be bought for $5,000, I'm offended."Continue »
"A healthy 30-year-old young man has a good job, makes a good living, but decides, you know what? I'm not going to spend $200 or $300 a month for health insurance because I'm healthy, I don't need it. But something terrible happens, all of a sudden he needs it. Who's going to pay if he goes into a coma, for example? Who pays for that?" asked host Wolf Blitzer.
Paul, a medical doctor, first responded by saying American society is primed to believe government would pay for it.
"Well, in a society that you accept welfarism and socialism, he expects the government to take care of him,' he said.
When pressed on the question, Paul responded: "That's what freedom is all about, taking your own risks," to applause from many tea party backers in the audience.Federal Reserve in bullseye at Tea Party debate
Perry and Romney trade jabs on Social Security
Bachmann blasts Perry for HPV vaccine mandate Continue »
Washington leaders gave more indication today that changes to Social Security and Medicare are likely to be part of a potential deal to reduce the deficit and raise the debt ceiling.
President Obama on Friday acknowledged for the first time that he was considering changes to the programs like raising the retirement age or applying means testing.
Additionally, an administration official tells CBS News political analyst John Dickerson that a deal based on Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's "back up plan" could include a binding commission charged with reviewing the entitlement programs.Continue »
Republicans, led by House Speaker John Boehner, and Democrats, led by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, came up with dueling plans today to raise the debt ceiling and significantly reduce the deficit.
The plans share some common elements, but the party leaders quickly denounced each others' proposals. The bottom line remains that Congress is still up against the clock to raise the debt limit -- the legal limit the U.S. is allowed to borrow -- before August 2. The Obama administration and many economists have warned of economic catastrophe if the debt limit isn't raised by then.
Here's a look at how the plans compare:Continue »
Why isn't the White House's plan to solve the debt crisis on paper?
It's a question echoing the halls of Capitol Hill where Republicans led by House Speaker John Boehner are in a stalemate with President Obama over spending and the deficit, and the question CBS News chief White House correspondent Norah O'Donnell posed directly to White House senior adviser David Plouffe on Tuesday.
"The people of America are very clear where the president stands and they stand with him," Plouffe told CBS News.
"We put out about four or five months ago our framework for deficit reduction. It provided the framework for a lot of the discussions we had with Speaker Boehner. People understand."
Plouffe highlighted tax code reform, domestic spending cuts and entitlement reform in areas like Medicare as bullet points to the White House's solution.
"We've been very clear," Plouffe said. "In the short term, in the next week, we're not going to solve our deficit problem, that's clear. Congress is going to need more time to do the work on things like entitlement reform and tax reform."Continue »