Weekend Update

Congress is again in session this week as the Hill’s Floor Watch blog explains. The Supreme Court holds its final session(s) this week before the summer recess. A decision in the Defense of Marriage Act constitutionality case is widely anticipated.

The latest Standard & Poor’s Healthcare Indices report came out late last week.

Eight of the nine S&P Healthcare Economic Indices showed higher annual growth rates for April 2013 compared to March 2013.  Annual growth rates in Medicare costs increased by 1.06% in April, according to the S&P Healthcare Economic Medicare Index, up from a +0.82% rate recorded last month. As measured by the S&P Healthcare Economic Commercial Index, healthcare costs covered by commercial insurance plans rose by 4.54% in April, marginally up from +4.53% , a recent low reported in March.

In this regard, the AP reports that the Obama Administration is not taking steps to enforce an ACA provision that is intended to hold down hospital prices charged to uninsured patients.