By Hyeongsu Park and Kathy Wang
- As the federal government clambers to meet deadlines and broker deals ahead of the sequestration, Medicare remains, again, one of the more contentious issues. While Medicare spending has slowed, Democrats are resisting any further spending cuts to such entitlement programs beyond the $300 billion reduction agreed upon last year.
- The healthcare sector has been suffering from a lack of consensus and resources, both financial and in human capital. Adding to these burdens is the federal panel on the health care work force that, two and a half years after its creation, has never met because they were never appropriated any funding. The commission was created to debate over crucial details of the health care law.
- Despite the hullabaloo in Europe over the contamination of beef products with horse meat, the U.S.D.A. is on the verge of approving a horse-slaughter plant in New Mexico for the human consumption of equine meat.
- Lower-income consumers have been waiting for the release of knockoff versions of highly expensive biotech drugs, but it seems that they will have to wait some more. Pharmaceutical company projects to create such “biosimilar” drugs have faltered and policy has not been clearly established as to how to proceed.