Morning Rounds: No Rest For Lobbyists, Mass. Rethinks Doctor Pay & FDA Warning : Shots - Health News Usually sleepy August has emerged as the critical time for lobbyists to make their mark on plans to overhaul health.
NPR logo Morning Rounds: No Rest For Lobbyists, Mass. Rethinks Doctor Pay & FDA Warning

Morning Rounds: No Rest For Lobbyists, Mass. Rethinks Doctor Pay & FDA Warning

You may be on summer vacation, but the interest groups looking to make their mark on legislation to overhaul health care are working harder than ever.

No rest for the weary lobbyists. Alykat/via Flickr hide caption

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Alykat/via Flickr

The Wall Street Journal reports that delays on Capitol Hill make this month the key time to "snare one-on-one meetings with lawmakers back in their home districts."

Take Tim Trysla, a lobbyist at Alston + Bird. Makers of diagnostic imaging equipment are among his clients. "If you're looking for savings, don't come at us," says Trysla, who has called on 120 legislators, sometimes taking General Electric execs along to make the case for protecting payment for medical scans. (Check out a nifty WSJ interactive graphic on lobbying spending here.)

Trying to figure out what works and what doesn't in improving the health-care system? It never hurts to follow the money.

NPR's Richard Knox digs into the money pit in Massachusetts, where a 3-year-old law expanding coverage has pushed the proportion of uninsured down to 2.6 percent--lowest in the nation..

The remarkable achievement has come at a high cost. Now, the state is looking to save money by paying doctors and hospitals a fixed annual amount for each patient rather than shelling out for services whenever they're rendered. "In the world of health care, this is big news," Knox says.

The Food and Drug Administration has concluded that some drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis in children and teenagers need a tough warning about an increasing the risk of lymphoma and other cancers.

The affected drugs include Johnson & Johnson's Remicade, Amgen's Enbrel and Abbott Lab's Humira.