GOP boycotts health care advisory board House and Senate Republican leaders told President Barack Obama Thursday that they will refuse to nominate candidates to serve on an advisory board that is to play a role in holding down Medicare costs under the new health care act. More
US medicine spending shows rare dip Total U.S. spending on prescription medicines declined last year, a first in more than half a century. The dip was 1 percent, to $325.8 billion — a 3.5 percent drop after accounting for population growth and economic expansion, according to the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. More
Governments may push workers to health exchange In a move that would capitalize on provisions under President Barack Obama's health care law but could cost the federal government millions of dollars, Washington state lawmakers have found a creative way to pass a large chunk of their health care expenses along to Washington, D.C. More
Customer Satisfaction with Banks Returns to Pre-Recession Level; ... - Yahoo! Finance Mega Banks Are Back in America’s Good Graces - Wall St. Cheat Sheet 12/10/2013 - 8:27 am | View Link
GOP Must Realize, Obamacare Can No Longer Be Destroyed - Forbes.com ... like WellPoint, Molina, UnitedHealth ... focused on repealing the parts of ... poor-health-182558667.html "France and U.S. Health Care: Twins ... 12/9/2013 - 11:30 am | View Link
Here’s How the White House Fixed the Obamacare Website - Wall St. Cheat Sheet ... construction of the complex parts of ... a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group ... on Twitter @MFoley_WSCS Don’t Miss: Sebelius: Put Health ... 12/3/2013 - 9:34 am | View Link
UnitedHealth, Humana, Aetna pledge to keep parts of Obama's health care law, regardless of Supreme Court Some of the nation's biggest health insurers will keep some popular parts of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul even if the law fails to survive Supreme Court scrutiny later this month. UnitedHealth Group, Humana and Aetna all said Monday that ... 06/12/2012 - 3:34 am | View Link
UnitedHealth, Humana, Aetna pledge to keep parts of Obama's health care law, regardless of Supreme Court (CBS/AP) Some of the nation's biggest health insurers will keep some popular parts of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul even if the law fails to survive Supreme Court scrutiny later this month. UnitedHealth Group, Humana and Aetna ... 06/12/2012 - 12:59 am | View Link
UnitedHealth to keep parts of health reform Insurer UnitedHealth Group Inc. sees some parts of the health care overhaul as sound medicine and plans to keep them even if the law fails to survive an upcoming Supreme Court ruling. The nation's largest health insurer said Monday it will still ... 06/11/2012 - 4:35 pm | View Link
UnitedHealth, Aetna to Retain Some Benefits of Health Law “A number of provisions in the health-reform law have been woven into the fabric of our health-care system ... Funtleyder said in a telephone interview. UnitedHealth had about 25.9 million people in its commercial plans in 2011, according ... 06/11/2012 - 10:56 am | View Link
UnitedHealth Plans to Keep Some Obamacare Elements Insurer UnitedHealth Groupsees some parts of the health-care overhaul as sound medicine and plans to keep them, regardless of whether the law survives an upcoming Supreme Court ruling. UnitedHealth Group , the nation's largest health insurer, said Monday ... 06/11/2012 - 6:25 am | View Link
A Toronto City Hall beat reporter who covered the downfall of Mayor Rob Ford said Friday that he is suing the disgraced politician for suggesting that he is a pedophile.
Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale made the announcement in the pages of Canada’s largest newspaper.
Dale said he has served Ford with a libel notice, the first step in a lawsuit for his “malicious and defamatory insinuation… that I have some sort of predatory interest in young children — that I am a pedophile.”
The Ford remarks were made to shamed media mogul Conrad Black, who co-hosts a new current affairs show on Canadian television, and were later repeated on American radio.
Ford, who was stripped of most of his mayoral powers and duties last month after admitting smoking crack, was recalling a May 2012 confrontation with Dale, who was staking out the mayor’s home for a story about him wanting to buy an adjacent city park.
“Daniel Dale is in my backyard taking pictures,” Ford told Black during an interview earlier this month for Vision TV, which has also been named in the lawsuit.
“I have little kids.
The White House has decided to maintain the “dual-hatted” arrangement which sees a single military officer head the National Security Agency eavesdropping service and US cyber warfare operations, an official said Friday.
The move comes as the administration finalizes a review ordered by President Barack Obama into the NSA’s sweeping worldwide data and phone record collection, following revelations by fugitive intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.
Some critics of the current system had argued that the NSA and the military’s cyber warfare command should be headed by different officials to avoid too much clandestine power residing in one official.
But National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said that after an interagency review, the administration “decided that keeping the positions of NSA Director and Cyber Command Commander together as one, dual-hatted position is the most effective approach to accomplishing both agencies’ missions.”
“NSA plays a unique role in supporting Cyber Command’s mission, providing critical support for target access and development, including linguists, analysts, cryptanalytic capabilities and sophisticated technological infrastructure.” Hayden said.
In practice, the decision means that the NSA will continue to be headed by a military officer — as the head of Cyber Command will of necessity be a senior member of the armed services.
The current head of the two agencies, four-star General Keith Alexander, retires early next year.
Obama said last week that he would introduce some restraints on the NSA following the review.
Officials said that the study into NSA operations in the wake of the Snowden affair was still expected to be delivered to the president by Sunday.
It remains unclear when Obama will present unclassified findings of the report publicly.
US Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday nuclear talks between world powers and Iran were expected to resume soon, after Tehran said it was quitting the negotiations.
“We’re making progress, but I think we’re at a point in those talks where folks feel a need to consult, take a moment,” Kerry told reporters in Tel Aviv.
“There is every expectation that talks are going to continue in the next few days,” he said of the talks.
Iran on Friday accusing Washington of going against the spirit of a landmark agreement reached last month in Geneva by expanding its sanctions blacklist.
The US Senate will vote next week on the new budget deal and Janet Yellen’s nomination to lead the Federal Reserve, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Friday.
“On Tuesday, we’ll begin consideration of the budget. On Wednesday, the defense bill, and after that we’ll address further nominations, of which the most important one is Janet Yellen,” Reid said on the Senate floor.
Yellen, currently number two at the Fed and picked by President Barack Obama to replace outgoing Chairman Ben Bernanke, is expected to gain easy approval.
The date for the vote has not been set, but Reid has said he wants the Senate to complete its work in this session by Friday, December 20 so legislators can then head out for the Christmas holiday.
Bernanke’s last day, at the end of a second four-year term, is January 31.
The budget bill, a Democrat-Republican compromise that reduces scheduled cuts over the next two years, is also likely to smoothly pass, after the House of Representatives pushed it through on Thursday with overwhelming support.
Pope Francis hailed the giant “international” Christmas tree lit up on St Peter’s Square on Friday, which was transported to the Vatican from his predecessor Benedict XVI’s homeland, the German state of Bavaria.
“This is an international tree! It grew near the border between Germany and the Czech Republic,” the pope said as he received a delegation of pilgrims from Bavaria.
He said that the gift reflected “the spiritual closeness and friendship that link the whole of Germany, and particularly Bavaria, to the Holy See”.
The 25-metre (82-foot) high pine is a gift from the town of Waldmuenchen and will stand next to a Nativity scene from Naples that will highlight the role of ordinary people in line with the pope’s humble style.