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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Neglected Tropical Diseases: Background, Responses, and Issues for Congress

Neglected Tropical Diseases: Background, Responses, and Issues for Congress

Date: January 21, 2011
Creator: Salaam-Blyther, Tiaji
Description: Over the past decade, global health has become a priority in U.S. foreign policy, more than tripling U.S. funding for such efforts. This report discusses neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), a group of 17 diseases that are found primarily among the poorest people in 149 countries and territories. NTDs are an important focus of U.S. global health assistance and may come under scrutiny as the 112th Congress debates spending levels for ongoing global health programs.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Food Safety in the 111th Congress: H.R. 2749 and S. 510

Food Safety in the 111th Congress: H.R. 2749 and S. 510

Date: October 15, 2010
Creator: Johnson, Renée
Description: This report discusses whether the current food safety system has the resources, authority, and structural organization to safeguard the health of American consumers, who spend more than $1 trillion on food each year. Also at issue is whether federal food safety laws, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then.
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Food Safety in the 111th Congress: H.R. 2749 and S. 510

Food Safety in the 111th Congress: H.R. 2749 and S. 510

Date: November 16, 2010
Creator: Johnson, Reneé; Lister, Sarah A.; Williams, Erin D. & Burrows, Vanessa K.
Description: This report discusses whether the current food safety system has the resources, authority, and structural organization to safeguard the health of American consumers, who spend more than $1 trillion on food each year. Also at issue is whether federal food safety laws, first enacted in the early 1900s, have kept pace with the significant changes that have occurred in the food production, processing, and marketing sectors since then.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Comparison of the Current World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program and the World Trade Center Health Program Proposed by Title I of H.R. 847

Comparison of the Current World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program and the World Trade Center Health Program Proposed by Title I of H.R. 847

Date: October 15, 2010
Creator: Szymendera, Scott & Lister, Sarah A.
Description: This report compares the current federally supported medical screening and treatment program offered to various persons affected by the terrorist attack on New York City on September 11, 2001, with the federal program proposed to be established by Title I of H.R. 847, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, as amended and passed by the House of Representatives. The World Trade Center (WTC) Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program (MMTP) and the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) are the specific programs compared in this report.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Cigarette Taxes to Fund Health Care Reform: An Economic Analysis

Cigarette Taxes to Fund Health Care Reform: An Economic Analysis

Date: March 8, 1994
Creator: Gravelle, Jane G. & Zimmerman, Dennis
Description: A cigarette excise tax increase of 75 cents per pack has been proposed to finance part of the President's universal health care program. The tax enjoys considerable public support, would raise about $11 billion per year, and would be relatively simple to administer because it would increase an existing manufacturer's excise tax. This report discusses these rationales, as well as other effects of and concerns about the tax, organized into topics of market failure as a justification for the tax (i.e., economic efficiency); potential for revenue; equity; and the job loss the tax might cause in tobacco growing regions.
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Employment-Based Health Coverage and Health Reform: Selected Legal Considerations

Employment-Based Health Coverage and Health Reform: Selected Legal Considerations

Date: June 12, 2009
Creator: Staman, Jennifer & Liu, Edward C.
Description: It is estimated that nearly 170 million individuals have employer-based health coverage. As part of a comprehensive health care reform effort, there has been support (including from the Obama Administration) in enacting comprehensive health insurance reform that retains the employer-based system. This report presents selected legal considerations inherent in amending two of the primary federal laws governing employer-sponsored health care: the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue Code (IRC).
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Medicaid Regulatory Issues

Medicaid Regulatory Issues

Date: November 26, 2008
Creator: Herz, Elicia J. & Burrows, Vanessa K.
Description: This report provides a summary of seven proposed and final rules affecting the Medicaid program that were issued by the Bush Administration during 2007 and 2008. Six of the seven rules are currently under a congressional moratorium on further administrative action until April 1, 2009. A description of possible administrative and legislative actions to modify these rules, which could be taken by the next administration or the 111th Congress, is also provided.
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The 2009 Influenza Pandemic: An Overview

The 2009 Influenza Pandemic: An Overview

Date: June 12, 2009
Creator: Lister, Sarah A. & Redhead, C. Stephen
Description: This report first provides a synopsis of key events, actions taken, and authorities invoked by WHO, the U.S. federal government, and state and local governments. It then discusses the WHO process to determine the phase of a flu pandemic, and selected actions taken by the Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services, and by state and local authorities. Next, it lists congressional hearings held to date, and provides information about appropriations and funding for pandemic flu activities. Finally, it summarizes U.S. government pandemic flu planning documents and lists sources for additional information about the situation as it unfolds.
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Social Security and Medicare Taxes and Premiums: Fact Sheet

Social Security and Medicare Taxes and Premiums: Fact Sheet

Date: January 13, 2004
Creator: Nuschler, Dawn
Description: Financing for social security -- Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance -- and the Hospital Insurance part of Medicare is provided primarily by taxes levied on wages and net self-employment income. Financing for the Supplementary Medical Insurance portion of Medicare is provided by premiums from enrollees and payments from the government. This report describes these taxes and premiums.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America: An Overview and Selected Issues

Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America: An Overview and Selected Issues

Date: May 27, 2009
Creator: Villarreal, M. Angeles & Lake, Jennifer E.
Description: The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) is a trilateral initiative that was launched in March 2005 for the purpose of increasing and enhancing security and prosperity in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. This initiative promoted communication and cooperation across several key policy areas of mutual interest, such as improving certain sectors of the economy, developing higher health and safety standards, and addressing environmental concerns. This report describes this initiative in brief detail, including summaries of several SPP-related meetings between the three countries' leaders.
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The Tax Exclusion for Employer-Provided Health Insurance: Policy Issues Regarding the Repeal Debate

The Tax Exclusion for Employer-Provided Health Insurance: Policy Issues Regarding the Repeal Debate

Date: November 21, 2008
Creator: Lyke, Bob
Description: Employer-provided health insurance is excluded from the determination of employees' federal income taxes, resulting in significant tax savings for many workers. The federal income tax exclusion -- the focus of this report -- is criticized for several reasons. These arguments about the exclusion merit careful consideration as Congress is starting to debate broad health care reform for the first time in 15 years. This report discusses this issue at length, including advantages and disadvantages to keeping the income tax inclusion as Congress undergoes the health policy reform process.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
World Health Organization: A Fact Sheet

World Health Organization: A Fact Sheet

Date: July 1, 1996
Creator: McHugh, Lois
Description: The World Health organization (WHO), established in 1948, is the United Nations system's authority on international public health issues. It assists governments in improving national health services and in establishing worldwide standards for foods, chemicals, and biological and pharmaceutical products. WHO concentrates on preventive rather than curative programs, including efforts to eradicate endemic and other widespread diseases, stabilize population growth, improve nutrition, sanitation, and maternal and child care. WHO is not an operational agency. It works through contracts with other agencies and private voluntary organizations.
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Brief Facts and Statistics

Brief Facts and Statistics

Date: January 26, 2006
Creator: Sidor, Gary
Description: This report provides facts and statistics about Social Security that are frequently requested by Members of Congress and their staffs. It includes information about Social Security taxes and benefits, the program's impact on its recipients' incomes, federal tax receipts, federal spending and the economy, administrative information, and selected facts about Medicare.
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The False Claims Act, the Allison Engine Decision, and Possible Effects on Health Care Fraud Enforcement

The False Claims Act, the Allison Engine Decision, and Possible Effects on Health Care Fraud Enforcement

Date: November 6, 2008
Creator: Staman, Jennifer
Description: The False Claims Act (FCA), an important tool for combating fraud against the U.S. government, generally provides that a person who knowingly submits, or causes to be submitted, a false or fraudulent claim for payment to the U.S. government may be subject to civil penalties and damages. This report provides an overview of the FCA and the Allison Engine decision, analyzes how this decision could affect certain FCA health care claims, and discusses the proposed False Claims Correction Acts (S. 2041 and H.R. 4854), which, if enacted, could limit the application of the Allison Engine decision.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Global Health: Appropriations to USAID Programs from FY2001 through FY2008

Global Health: Appropriations to USAID Programs from FY2001 through FY2008

Date: July 8, 2008
Creator: Salaam-Blyther, Tiaji
Description: This report details the funds Congress appropriated from FY2001 through FY2008 to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for global health programs. The report includes which key programs said appropriations supported and also discusses the role of other U.S. agencies and departments in this context, including the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Government Spending on Health Care Benefits and Programs: A Data Brief

Government Spending on Health Care Benefits and Programs: A Data Brief

Date: June 16, 2008
Creator: Jenson, Jennifer
Description: In a country where health spending accounts for more than 16% of gross domestic product (GDP), health care costs and spending are often described as a problem for consumers and their families; for employers that provide (or seek to provide) health benefits; and for government, which finances a mix of health care services, health research and training, and health safety programs. To describe government spending on health care benefits and programs, this report presents data from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Bisphenol A (BPA) in Plastics and Possible Human Health Effects

Bisphenol A (BPA) in Plastics and Possible Human Health Effects

Date: June 30, 2008
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo & Lister, Sarah A.
Description: Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to produce certain types of plastic. Containers made of these plastics may expose people to small amounts of BPA in food and water. Some animal experiments have found that fetal and infant development may be harmed by small amounts of BPA, but scientists disagree about the value of the animal studies for predicting harmful effects in people. This report discusses this issue and relevant legislation, as well as inquiries into studies currently underway to determine the true harm inherent in BPA and the degree to which people are regularly exposed to BPA.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Bisphenol A (BPA) in Plastics and Possible Human Health Effects

Bisphenol A (BPA) in Plastics and Possible Human Health Effects

Date: September 8, 2008
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo & Lister, Sarah A.
Description: Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to produce certain types of plastic. Containers made of these plastics may expose people to small amounts of BPA in food and water. Some animal experiments have found that fetal and infant development may be harmed by small amounts of BPA, but scientists disagree about the value of the animal studies for predicting harmful effects in people. This report discusses this issue and relevant legislation, as well as inquiries into studies currently underway to determine the true harm inherent in BPA and the degree to which people are regularly exposed to BPA.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Bisphenol A (BPA) in Plastics and Possible Human Health Effects

Bisphenol A (BPA) in Plastics and Possible Human Health Effects

Date: July 23, 2008
Creator: Schierow, Linda-Jo & Lister, Sarah A.
Description: Bisphenol A (BPA) is used to produce certain types of plastic. Containers made of these plastics may expose people to small amounts of BPA in food and water. Some animal experiments have found that fetal and infant development may be harmed by small amounts of BPA, but scientists disagree about the value of the animal studies for predicting harmful effects in people. This report discusses this issue and relevant legislation, as well as inquiries into studies currently underway to determine the true harm inherent in BPA and the degree to which people are regularly exposed to BPA.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Health and Safety Concerns Over U.S. Imports of Chinese Products: An Overview

Health and Safety Concerns Over U.S. Imports of Chinese Products: An Overview

Date: May 8, 2008
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M.
Description: China is a major source of U.S. imports of consumer products (such as toys) and an increasingly important supplier of various food products. Reports of unsafe seafood, pet food, toys, tires, and other products imported from China over the past year or so have raised concern in the United States over the health, safety, and quality of imported Chinese products. This report provides an overview of this issue and implications for U.S.-China trade relations.
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Health and Safety Concerns Over U.S. Imports of Chinese Products: An Overview

Health and Safety Concerns Over U.S. Imports of Chinese Products: An Overview

Date: November 13, 2008
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M.
Description: China is a major source of U.S. imports of consumer products (such as toys) and an increasingly important supplier of various food products. Reports of unsafe seafood, pet food, toys, tires, and other products imported from China over the past year or so have raised concern in the United States over the health, safety, and quality of imported Chinese products. This report provides an overview of this issue and implications for U.S.-China trade relations.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Public Health and Medical Preparedness and Response: Issues in the 110th Congress

Public Health and Medical Preparedness and Response: Issues in the 110th Congress

Date: August 1, 2008
Creator: Lister, Sarah A.
Description: The 2001 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina, and concerns about an influenza ("flu") pandemic have sharpened congressional interest in the nation's systems to track and respond to public health threats. The 109th Congress passed laws that reauthorized public health and medical preparedness and response programs in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and reorganized parts of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including the establishment of an Office of Health Affairs (OHA). This report discusses key issues in public health and medical preparedness and response, citing additional CRS reports and other resources.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Public Health and Medical Preparedness and Response: Issues in the 110th Congress

Public Health and Medical Preparedness and Response: Issues in the 110th Congress

Date: June 16, 2008
Creator: Lister, Sarah A.
Description: The 2001 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina, and concerns about an influenza ("flu") pandemic have sharpened congressional interest in the nation's systems to track and respond to public health threats. The 109th Congress passed laws that reauthorized public health and medical preparedness and response programs in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and reorganized parts of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including the establishment of an Office of Health Affairs (OHA). This report discusses key issues in public health and medical preparedness and response, citing additional CRS reports and other resources.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Increases in Tricare Costs: Background and Options for Congress

Increases in Tricare Costs: Background and Options for Congress

Date: October 23, 2008
Creator: Jansen, Don J.
Description: In its FY2007, FY2008, and FY2009 budget submissions, the Department of Defense (DOD) proposed increases in Tricare enrollment fees, deductibles, and pharmacy co-payments for retired beneficiaries not yet eligible for Medicare. In passing the FY2009 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress included measures establishing demonstration projects intended to find ways to contain costs through increased use of preventive care services by TRICARE beneficiaries. The scope of these measures are limited. Defense health care spending will likely remain an issue for the DOD in the next Administration, and Congress can anticipate being asked to consider new proposals to constrain costs.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department