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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The 2009 Influenza Pandemic: An Overview

The 2009 Influenza Pandemic: An Overview

Date: June 12, 2009
Creator: Lister, Sarah A.
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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).
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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 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
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.
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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
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
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
Increases in Tricare Costs: Background and Options for Congress

Increases in Tricare Costs: Background and Options for Congress

Date: August 15, 2008
Creator: Jansen, Don J. & Best, Richard
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
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