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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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: 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.
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Military Medical Care: Questions and Answers

Military Medical Care: Questions and Answers

Date: October 31, 2008
Creator: Jansen, Don J.
Description: This report answers several frequently-asked questions about military health care, particularly related to TRICARE and its various aspects.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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
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
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
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Medicare: Part B Premiums

Medicare: Part B Premiums

Date: December 29, 2008
Creator: Hahn, Jim
Description: This report examines the history of the Medicare Part B Premium. The report considers issues including the changing factors that go into determining the premium. The report also discusses the comparative cost adjustment program, the Part B deductible, and the Part A premium.
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: January 13, 2009
Creator: Morrison, Wayne M.
Description: This report provides an overview of concerns about the health, safety, and quality of imported Chinese products, and implications for U.S.-China trade relations.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
H.R. 2: The Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009

H.R. 2: The Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009

Date: January 14, 2009
Creator: Baumrucker, Evelyne P.; Herz, Elicia J.; Peterson, Chris L.; Tilson, Sibyl & Gravelle, Jane G.
Description: This report summarizes changes to current law across the major provisions of H.R. 2 that would occur if The Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA) were enacted.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Military Medical Care: Questions and Answers

Military Medical Care: Questions and Answers

Date: January 29, 2009
Creator: Jansen, Don J.
Description: This report attempts to answer basic questions about defense health care, its beneficiary population, the medical services it provides, its costs, and major changes that are underway or have been proposed.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Medicaid: The Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP)

Medicaid: The Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP)

Date: February 2, 2009
Creator: Grady, April
Description: This report examines the formula that determines the federal government's share of Medicaid costs for most services, which is established in statute; states must contribute the remaining portion of costs in order to qualify for federal funds.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Public Health and Medical Preparedness and Response: Issues in the 111th Congress

Public Health and Medical Preparedness and Response: Issues in the 111th Congress

Date: February 10, 2009
Creator: Lister, Sarah A.
Description: This report summarizes key issues in domestic public health and medical preparedness and response, citing other CRS Reports and sources of additional information. Key recent events--the 2001 terrorist attacks, Hurricane Katrina, and concerns about an influenza ("flu") pandemic, among others--sharpened congressional interest in the nation's systems to track and respond to public health threats.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
State Medicaid and SCRIP Coverage of Noncitizens

State Medicaid and SCRIP Coverage of Noncitizens

Date: February 12, 2009
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Description: This report focuses on the laws governing noncitizen eligibility for Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and -- to the extent of available data -- implementation of these policies at the state level
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Medicaid and Graduate Medical Education

Medicaid and Graduate Medical Education

Date: February 17, 2009
Creator: Herz, Elicia J. & Tilson, Sibyl
Description: This report discusses Medicaid coverage of graduate medical education (GME) costs. GME costs are difficult to determine because teaching occurs in the context of patient care and research. There are direct GME (DGME) costs, which include residents' stipends, payments to supervising physicians, and direct program administration costs.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Medicaid and Outpatient Hospital Services

Medicaid and Outpatient Hospital Services

Date: February 17, 2009
Creator: Herz, Elicia J. & Tilson, Sibyl
Description: This report discusses a recently-proposed Medicaid rule that would change the definition of outpatient hospital and rural health clinic services, as well as the methods that states must use to demonstrate compliance with the federal upper payment limit on outpatient hospital services provided in private outpatient facilities. A number of groups have expressed concern that this rule will have a significant negative impact on coverage of certain services, which may harm Medicaid beneficiaries.
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Medicaid and Schools

Medicaid and Schools

Date: February 17, 2009
Creator: Herz, Elicia J.
Description: This report discusses the recent history and current issues facing Medicaid funding for certain health related costs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Selected Health Funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Selected Health Funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Date: February 20, 2009
Creator: Redhead, C. S.; Colello, Kirsten J.; Lister, Sarah A.; Reyes-Akinbileje, Bernice; Smith, Pamela W. & Sommers, Andrew R.
Description: This report compares funding provided for selected Health and Human Services (HHS) programs in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) conference report (H.Rept. 111-16) with the recommendations in the House- and Senate-passed versions of H.R. 1. It also briefly discusses ARRA's provisions on HIT and comparative effectiveness research as they relate to the funding.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
End-of-Life Care: Services, Costs, Ethics, and Quality of Care

End-of-Life Care: Services, Costs, Ethics, and Quality of Care

Date: February 23, 2009
Creator: Colello, Kirsten J.; Mulvey, Janemarie; Sarata, Amanda K.; Williams, Erin D. & Thomas, Kenneth R.
Description: This report provides information on various aspects of end-of-life care: (1) demographic and historical changes affecting death and dying in the United States (2) the definitions of end-of-life, palliative, and hospice care (3) costs associated with end-of-life care (4) end-of-life care laws and ethics (5) quality of care at the end of life and (6) policy issues that would modify or expand the federal government's role in addressing end-of-life care.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act

Date: February 23, 2009
Creator: Redhead, C. S.
Description: This report provides a summary and explanation of the provisions in the HITECH Act, which is intended to promote the widespread adoption of health information technology (HIT) for the electronic sharing of clinical data among hospitals, physicians, and other health care stakeholders. It gives an overview of prior actions taken by Congress and the Administrations to promote HIT, and briefly describes efforts by the 109th and 110th Congresses to enact comprehensive HIT legislation.
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Medicare Advantage

Medicare Advantage

Date: March 3, 2009
Creator: Morgan, Paulette C.
Description: This report is an overview of the Medicare Advantage (MA) program, an alternative way for Medicare beneficiaries to receive covered benefits, and includes legislative history and analysis of recent trends.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Health Insurance Premium Assistance for the Unemployed: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Health Insurance Premium Assistance for the Unemployed: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Date: March 6, 2009
Creator: Mulvey, Janemarie; Chaikind, Hinda & Fernandez, Bernadette
Description: This report discusses employer-sponsored health insurance coverage and barriers to accessing health insurance for the unemployed; provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) with respect to unemployment and health insurance; and potential impact of ARRA provisions on the unemployed.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Medicare's Hospice Benefit

Medicare's Hospice Benefit

Date: March 9, 2009
Creator: Stone, Julie
Description: This report discusses Medicare's hospice benefit, which was provides care that specializes in the relief of the pain and symptoms associated with a terminal illness and the provision of supportive and counseling services to patients and their families during the final stages of a patient's illness and death.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Medicare Primer

Medicare Primer

Date: March 10, 2009
Creator: Chaikind, Hinda; Tilson, Sibyl; Morgan, Paulette C.; Hahn, Jim; Stockdale, Holly; Davis, Patricia A. et al.
Description: This report provides an overview of Medicare, the nation's federal insurance program, which pays for covered health care services of qualified beneficiaries.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department