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 »
A recommendation by a nonpartisan group of experts that the government require health insurance companies to cover the full cost of birth control for women has prompted both praise and anger ahead of the Obama administration's decision on whether to adopt the recommendation.
A panel from the Institute of Medicine on Tuesday gave the Health and Human Services Department a list of eight services for women it said should qualify as preventive care, including contraception, HIV screening and support for breast-feeding mothers. Under President Obama's health care reform package, insurers are required to fully cover the cost of preventive care in most cases.
Reproductive rights groups hailed the recommendation as a positive step for women's health.Continue »
Updated: 1:11 p.m. ET
The White House said Tuesday it will not move forward with a proposal that would have tested the ease or difficulty for Americans in finding and receiving primary medical care through the use of so-called "mystery shoppers."
The proposal, which meant to address a shortage of primary care physicians in America and investigate the possible subsequent coverage gap, would have had contractors call more than 4,000 doctors in nine states in America. The New York Times, reporting on the story this week, described the mission as a "stealth survey" in which those contractors, acting as prospective patients, would attempt to make appointments in order to evaluate how difficult it was to find primary care. It would also have evaluated whether or not doctors were more likely to accept patients with private insurance over those covered by government health programs.
On Tuesday, however, in light of criticism that the program amounted to federal "spying" and a waste of tax dollars, Health and Human Services said it was scrapping the plan.Continue »
At its annual meeting in Chicago, the American Medical Association (AMA) voted to maintain its official position in favor of the "individual mandate," which requires nearly all Americans to purchase health insurance. The AMA prefers the term "individual responsibility."
"The AMA has strong policy in support of covering the uninsured, and we have renewed our commitment to achieving this through individual responsibility for health insurance with assistance for those who need it," Dr. Cecil Wilson, president of the AMA, said in a statement. "The AMA's policy supporting individual responsibility has bipartisan roots, helps Americans get the care they need when they need it and ends cost shifting from those who are uninsured to those who are insured."Continue »
"It will be intensely debated," said Dr. Lori Heim, a North Carolina family physician who travelled to Chicago for the annual meeting of the American Medical Association (AMA), the nation's largest physicians group.
AMA support for the Affordable Care Act, and specifically the individual mandate, which requires that nearly all Americans purchase health insurance, was seen as important in setting the stage for its passage last year.
"AMA's support was and is more significant with respect to PR than legislative politics," said Heritage Foundation health care expert Edmund Haislmaier.Continue »
CBS News Poll analysis by the CBS News Polling Unit: Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus and Anthony Salvanto.
A new CBS News poll shows that Americans have mixed feelings about what should happen to Medicare: While 53 percent say the program needs fundamental changes, 58 percent say it should continue the way it is set up now.
Americans were asked which of three statements comes closest to their views: "Medicare works pretty well and only minor changes are necessary to make it work better"; "There are some good things about Medicare, but fundamental changes are needed"; or "Medicare has so much wrong with it that we need to completely rebuild it."Continue »
As Vice President Joe Biden continues to make progress overseeing debt limit negotiations between Democrats and Republicans, the questions remains as to whether the Obama administration will go along with GOP demands to significantly change Medicare.
The latest evidence -- a pair of opposing letters to the administration from members of the two major parties -- shows that Democrats and Republicans remain as committed as ever to their positions on a controversial GOP Medicare plan.Continue »
Shumlin lauded the legislation as an "economic and fiscal imperative" -- as well as a moral one.
"This law recognizes an economic and fiscal imperative - that we must control the growth in health care costs that are putting families at economic risk and making it harder for small employers to do business," he said in a Thursday statement. "We have a moral imperative to fix this problem, with 47,000 Vermonters uninsured and another 150,000 underinsured and worried about how to afford keeping their families healthy."Continue »
Updated 6:23 p.m. Eastern Time
Forty Republican senators voted for a controversial House budget proposal that transforms Medicare into a voucher-like system late Wednesday afternoon in a vote orchestrated by Democrats to put members of the GOP on the record as either supporting or opposing the plan.
As expected, the House Republican budget plan failed in the Democrat-controlled Senate by a vote of 40-57. It won no Democratic or independent votes.
Moderate Republican senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Scott Brown of Massachusetts voted against the bill. So did Tea Party-linked Kentucky Republican Rand Paul, who said it did not go far enough to balance the budget.
(Three senators - Republicans Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas and Pat Roberts of Kansas and Democrat Chuck Schumer of New York - declined to vote.)
The $3.5 trillion budget plan, from House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, passed the House in April with the support of all but four Republicans. It mandates Americans currently under 55-years-old would get a Medicare subsidy to purchase health insurance when they turn 65 instead of the government directly paying their health care costs.Continue »
The Democratic victory in Tuesday's special congressional election in upstate New York may not be the start of a trend, but it marks the first time President Obama's party has been on the offensive since they lost control of the House of Representatives last year.
In the last few special elections, Democrats did fairly well, but only one of those outcomes predicted a trend. November 2009 saw a Democrat win the special election in New York's 23rd congressional district because a third party conservative candidate split the Republican vote.
And in May of 2010, a Democrat won the special election in Pennsylvania's 12th district, running as the legacy to his former boss and long time Representative John Murtha. The last special election that foreshadowed later results was the special election for the Massachusetts Senate seat long held by Ted Kennedy. The winner of that race was a Republican, Scott Brown, who ran on one issue: Health care.Continue »
Some Republicans are already saying that Democrat Kathy Hochul's apparent special election victory over Republican Jane Corwin in a conservative upstate New York district doesn't mean much: It's just one district, after all, and there was a wildcard in the race in the form of independent candidate Jack Davis, who siphoned votes that would otherwise have gone to Corwin.
But even the most optimistic Republicans privately recognize that Hochul's upset victory is an ominous sign for their party. Pre-election polling showed that the number one issue in the district - where 40 percent of the electorate is over 55 years old - was Medicare. All but four House Republicans voted for the Paul Ryan budget that would turn Medicare into a voucher system in ten years; Hochul seized on that vote to cast Republicans generally and Corwin specifically as seeking to gut the program, and it worked. Expect nearly every Democrat seeking to unseat a Republican next year to follow her playbook.Continue »