Weekend Wrap-Up / Miscellany

  • Well, it has been a busy week due to OPM’s press release about the 2008 FEHB Program premiums.
  • OPM also issued a notice in the Federal Register on Friday about the medically underserved states for 2008. The fee for service plans must provide certain extended benefits in those states under 5 U.S.C. § 8902(m)(2). According to the agency’s announcement,”for calendar year 2008, OPM’s calculations show that the following states are Medically Underserved Areas under the FEHB Program: Alabama, Arizona, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming. For the 2008 calendar year Texas and West Virginia are being removed from the list, and no new states have been added.”
  • Congress continues to debate the SCHIP and FDA Prescription Drug User Fee reauthorization bills. According to the Kaiser Capitol Hill Watch, a short extension of the SCHIP authorization is likely while the solons work out the funding level and whether to include Medicare changes in the bill. However, Senator Enzi (R Wyo) has announced his opposition to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s proposal for a three month extension of the FDA user fee reauthorization bill.
  • The GAO released a report on the future of health care in the U.S.
  • In the same vein, today’s New York Times featured another article on its series concerning the impact of new genetic technology on American life.