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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
U.S. Response to the Global Threat of Malaria: Basic Facts

U.S. Response to the Global Threat of Malaria: Basic Facts

Date: June 15, 2012
Creator: Kendall, Alexandra E.
Description: This report outlines basic facts related to global malaria, including characteristics of the epidemic and U.S. legislation, programs, funding, and partnerships related to the global response to malaria.
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U.S. Response to the Global Threat of Tuberculosis: Basic Facts

U.S. Response to the Global Threat of Tuberculosis: Basic Facts

Date: June 15, 2012
Creator: Kendall, Alexandra E.
Description: This report outlines basic facts related to global tuberculosis (TB), including characteristics of the epidemic and U.S. legislation, programs, funding, and partnerships related to the global response to TB.
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Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts

Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts

Date: June 13, 2012
Creator: Mulvey, Janemarie
Description: Health care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) are benefit plans established by employers to reimburse employees for health care expenses such as deductibles and copayments. The contributions to and withdrawals from FSAs are tax-exempt. On June 7, 2012, the House passed H.R. 436, the Health Care Cost Reduction Act of 2012, which would allow up to $500 of unused balances in health FSAs to be distributed back to the account holder after the plan year ends and to allow over-the-counter prescriptions to be a qualified medical expense. The bill has been sent to the Senate for its consideration. Similar bills in the Senate have been referred to the Senate Finance Committee (S. 1368 and S. 1404). This report discusses these bills in greater detail.
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Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts

Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts

Date: June 5, 2012
Creator: Mulvey, Janemarie
Description: Health care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) are benefit plans established by employers to reimburse employees for health care expenses such as deductibles and copayments. FSAs are usually funded by employees through salary reduction agreements, although employers are permitted to contribute as well. The contributions to and withdrawals from FSAs are tax-exempt. This report discusses two recent bills, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Health Care Cost Reduction Act of 2012, both of which limits contributions to FSAs and redefines over the counter (OTC) drugs,
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The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria: Issues for Congress and U.S. Contributions from FY2001 to FY2013

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria: Issues for Congress and U.S. Contributions from FY2001 to FY2013

Date: May 15, 2012
Creator: Salaam-Blyther, Tiaji & Kendall, Alexandra E.
Description: The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (Global Fund, or the Fund) was established in 2002 as a public-private partnership that could provide significant financial support for global responses to HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), and malaria. In November 2011, the Global Fund Board announced that due to inadequate resources from donors, it would cancel its 11th round of funding, but would maintain support for existing activities to avoid disruptions in ongoing services. Global health advocates urge Congress to meet the President's FY2013 request for the Fund in order to support the sustainability of its activities and to encourage continued contributions from other donors. Although Congress has traditionally been a strong supporter of the Fund, several issues may affect congressional views about the Fund in the future, which are discussed in this report.
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The Independent Payment Advisory Board

The Independent Payment Advisory Board

Date: March 12, 2012
Creator: Hahn, Jim & Davis, Christopher M.
Description: In response, in part, to overall growth in Medicare program expenditures and growth in expenditures per Medicare beneficiary, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act created the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB, or the Board) and charged the Board with developing proposals to "reduce the per capita rate of growth in Medicare spending." This report discusses the responsibilities and duties.
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Health Care: Constitutional Rights and Legislative Powers

Health Care: Constitutional Rights and Legislative Powers

Date: March 23, 2012
Creator: Swendiman, Kathleen S.
Description: The health care reform debate raises many complex issues including those of coverage, accessibility, cost, accountability, and quality of health care. Underlying these policy considerations are issues regarding the status of health care as a constitutional or legal right. This report analyzes constitutional and legal issues pertaining to a right to health care, as well as the power of Congress to enact and fund health care programs. Following the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, P.L. 111-148, legal issues have been raised regarding the power of Congress to mandate that individuals purchase health insurance, and the ability of states to "nullify" or "opt out" of such a requirement. These issues are also discussed.
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U.S. Response to the Global Threat of Tuberculosis: Basic Facts

U.S. Response to the Global Threat of Tuberculosis: Basic Facts

Date: January 5, 2012
Creator: Kendal, Alexandra E.
Description: Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the most widespread infectious diseases in the world, infecting an average of 9 million people annually. Although TB is curable, more than 1 million TB-related deaths occur each year. Due in part to a growing global response to TB, progress has been made in combating the disease. Globally, new TB infection rates have begun to slowly decline and TB mortality rates have decreased significantly since 1990. At the same time, absolute numbers of people infected with TB, particularly in Asia and Africa, continue to rise. Congress has recognized TB as an important humanitarian issue and increasingly as a potential threat to global security. In its second session, the 112th Congress will likely debate the appropriate funding levels and optimum strategy for addressing the continued challenge of global TB.
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TRICARE and VA Health Care: Impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)

TRICARE and VA Health Care: Impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)

Date: September 30, 2010
Creator: Panangala, Sidath Viranga
Description: The 111th Congress passed, and the President signed into law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, and hereafter referred to as PPACA. This report addresses key questions concerning how PPACA affects the Department of Defense (DOD) TRICARE program and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care.
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Food Safety in the 111th Congress

Food Safety in the 111th Congress

Date: September 23, 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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