by clicking on the page. A slider will appear, allowing you to adjust your zoom level. Return to the original size by clicking on the page again.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider on the top right.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field and click on "In This Issue" or "All Issues" to search the current issue or the archive of back issues respectively.
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
this publication and page.
displays a table of sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays thumbnails of every page in the issue. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse through every available issue.
Federal Employees News Digest : April 1, 2013
and continue our conversation about moving this process forward," Murray said. "I am con- fident that if Republicans join Democrats at the table and are truly ready to compromise, we can get to the balanced and bipartisan deal that the American people expect and deserve." But Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), ranking mem- ber of the Senate Budget Committee, was less optimistic about the Senate plan. "The singular truth that no one can escape is that the House budget changes our debt course while the Senate budget does not," Sessions said in a statement. "The Senate budget increases taxes, increases spending, and adds $7.3 trillion to our debt. It has zero real deficit reduction. "Most significantly, it never balances," he said. "Republicans gave Senate Democrats chance after chance to balance the budget. But they refused. They have declared to the whole nation their refusal to balance the federal budget." See the Senate budget at: http://budget.sen- ate.gov/democratic/index.cfm/files/serve?File_ id=c951a802-7600-4111-97c9-20bccc9c69d8, and the House budget at: http://budget.house. gov/uploadedfiles/fy14budget.pdf. Bill would hold down FEHB drug prices A House lawmaker has introduced a bill that would ramp up oversight of the prescrip- tion drug benefits offered under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. The bill (H.R. 1367), the FEHBP Prescription Drug Integrity, Transparency, and Cost Savings Act, was introduced March 21 by Rep. Stephen Lynch, ranking member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce. According to a press release from Lynch's office, FEHB currently pays between 15 percent and 45 percent more for its prescription drugs than similar federal programs administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Defense Department, Medicare and Medicaid. The reason, according to Lynch, is that FEHB relies on its various carriers and pharmacy ben- efit managers to negotiate prescription drug benefits and prices. Lynch's legislation would provide the Office of Personnel Management with greater over- sight authority over FEHB's prescription drug contracting and pricing methods with the aim of getting drugs at the best available price. Under the oversight provisions of the bill, PBMs who currently contract with individual insurance plans to provide FEHBP prescrip- tion drug benefits would have to return 99 percent of all rebates, market share incentives and other monies received from drug makers for FEHB business. The bill also would prohibit "drug switching" without prior physician approval, impose new industry-standard disclosure and transparency requirements on PBMs, and cap prescription drug prices paid by FEHB at what is known as the average manufacturer price (AMP), which is average price paid by wholesalers to manufac- turers for drugs distributed to retail pharmacies. The bill has the support of the American Federation of Government Employees and the National Treasury Employees Union. "AFGE has been urging OPM to crack down on abusive pharmaceutical and insur- ance company practices for years, and Congressman Lynch has demonstrated his capacity for leadership in this critical area by introducing this legislation," said AFGE President J. David Cox in a statement. "Rising prescription drug costs continue to be a major factor pushing health care costs higher for those under the FEHBP," said Colleen Kelley, president of National Treasury Employees Union. "This bill brings down those costs and will help contain the higher health care premiums federal employees have been facing for several years." To see more, go to: http://lynch.house.gov/ press-release/lynch-introduces-fehbp-prescrip- tion-drug-integrity-transparency-and-cost- savings-act. ••• In Brief FAA announces air traffic control tower closings The Federal Aviation Administration announced last month that it will close 149 federal contract air traffic control towers over a four-week period beginning April 7 as part of its sequestration implementation plan. FAA had considered closing as many as 189 contract towers as part of its plan to satisfy $637 million in sequester-related cuts. The agency, however, decided to keep 24 federal contract towers open that it earlier had marked for closing "because doing so would have a negative impact on the national inter- est." FAA also will keep open another 16 federal contract towers that are under a "cost share" program that is required by statute to be funded by Congress. While the cost-share funds still are subject to sequestration, FAA said that the required 5 percent cut to those funds will not result in closings. "We heard from communities across the country about the importance of their tow- ers and these were very tough decisions," Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement. "Unfortunately we are faced with a series of difficult choices that we have to make to reach the required cuts under sequestration." FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said the agency will work with airports and the opera- tors to ensure safety procedures are in place at non-towered airports. To see more, go to: www.faa.gov/news/press_ releases/news_story.cfm?newsId=14414. Survey looks at benefits for same-sex spouses According to a recent survey, more than half of Americans said they would vote for a law giving benefits that married couples tra- ditionally receive---such as insurance, tax and Social Security benefits---to spouses of federal employees in same-sex marriages. According to Gallup, which conducted the survey last month, the 54 percent "for" and the 39 percent "against" the benefits for same- sex couples "mirrors Americans' support for gay marriage more generally, which stands at 53 percent in favor and 46 percent opposed," according to the organization's most recent poll done in November. The group notes that current support for allowing those benefits is "predictably higher among Democrats than it is among Republicans." Among those survey respondents who said they were "for" granting those rights, 75 percent were identified as Democrat, 52 per- cent independent, and 38 percent Republican. This month's survey results come as the Supreme Court gets ready to consider argu- ments challenging the Defense of Marriage Act, which denies same-sex married couples many of the benefits enjoyed by opposite-sex married couples. Gallup noted that when the Defense of April 1, 2013 Vol. 62, No. 35 4 Visit us on the internet at www.FederalDaily.com continued on page 8 continued from page 3
March 25, 2013
April 8, 2013