How to Survive the Apocalypse

By ALEX WILLIAMS September 23, 2017 President Trump threatens to “totally destroy North Korea.” Another hurricane lashes out. A second monster earthquake jolts Mexico. Terrorists strike in London. And that’s just this past week or so. Yes, the world is clearly coming to an end. But is there anything you can do to prepare? That is not …

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A Tale Of Two States: California, Texas And The Latest ACA Repeal Bid

The GOP’s latest attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act wobbled on Friday as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said he could not support it. But the bill known as Graham-Cassidy isn’t dead yet. And whatever its fate, the long-held Republican goal it embodies — to fundamentally change how the government funds Medicaid — will survive. …

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HHS To Close Insurance Exchange For 12 Hours On Sundays During Enrollment

The Trump administration plans to shut down the federal health insurance exchange for 12 hours during all but one Sunday in the upcoming open enrollment season. The shutdown will occur from 12 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET on every Sunday except Dec. 10. The Department of Health and Human Services will also shut down the …

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GOP Health Bill’s Changes Go Far Beyond Preexisting Conditions

The latest GOP effort to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act is getting a lot of attention, even if its passage seems unlikely. But there is far more to the measure than its changes to rules regarding preexisting health conditions. In fact, the bill proposed by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) …

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McCain: ‘I Cannot In Good Conscience Vote For The Graham-Cassidy Proposal’

Sep 22 2017 With Sen. John McCain’s opposition to the last-ditch repeal-and-replace efforts, Republicans are left with no room for error. The New York Times: McCain Announces Opposition To Republican Health Bill, Likely Dooming Its FateSenator John McCain of Arizona announced on Friday that he would oppose the latest proposal to repeal the Affordable Care …

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Facebook Live: What’s Happening With The Children’s Health Insurance Program?

KHN Chief Washington Correspondent Julie Rovner and Bruce Lesley, a Capitol Hill veteran who heads First Focus, a bipartisan children’s health advocacy group, break down the current state of play on CHIP reauthorization and other congressional issues. For more in-depth conversations with KHN reporters, check out our Facebook video archive. KHN’s coverage of children’s health care issues …

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Viewpoints: Nursing Homes And Hurricanes; Winning The War On Drugs

A selection of opinions on health care from around the country. Miami Herald: Protect Nursing Home Residents, Not Bad FacilitiesWhen they get together in Tallahassee on Friday, the members of Florida’s nursing-home industry can either circle the wagons or lay the groundwork to take a deep, honest look at how best to confront the one …

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Policy Implications: The GOP Bill’s Math Problems; The Importance Of Funding CHIP

Editorial pages include policy analysis of the Graham-Cassidy health care bill and examine some of the key policies now in play. The Washington Post: Tens Of Millions Of Americans Could Lose Obamacare Tax Credits Because Thousands Of Alaskans Won’tAmerican politics is always a math problem. If you have a group of x people, you need …

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Political Perspectives: Pleas For Truth Talk Regarding Graham-Cassidy; Does Panic On Left Suggest Progress On Right?

Opinion writers express outrage at the contents of the Senate GOP’s latest attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare and explore the political motivations for pursuing the measure’s passage. The New York Times: Senator Cassidy, Please Stop Lying About Health CareHere’s a giveway about how bad the new Senate health care bill is: Bill Cassidy, one …

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Research Roundup: Hospital Transportation; Medicaid Expansion; Obesity Treatment

Each week, KHN compiles a selection of recently released health policy studies and briefs. JAMA Surgery: Association Of Prehospital Mode Of Transport With Mortality In Penetrating Trauma In this cohort study of 103 029 patients included in the National Trauma Data Bank, individuals transported by private vehicle were significantly less likely to die than similarly injured patients …

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State Highlights: In Calif., Gubernatorial Candidates Try To Prove Health Care Street Cred; Death Toll Rises In Fla. Nursing Home Tradgedy

Media outlets report on news from California, Florida, Texas, Illinois and Pennsylvania. Los Angeles Times: The Push For Single-Payer Health Care Just Went National. What Does That Mean For The California Effort?When Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders visited Beverly Hills last May, he made a full-throated appeal for California to “lead the country” and pass a …

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Football Player Who Was Convicted Of Murder Found To Have Severe Brain Damage

The severity of former NFL player Aaron Hernandez’s CTE, a degenerative disease believed to be caused by concussions, is usually found in players in their 60s. He was 27 when he committed suicide in jail. The New York Times: Aaron Hernandez Found To Have Severe C.T.E.The brain scan came as a surprise even to researchers …

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Hospital Cracks Down On Inconsistencies With Prescribing Opioids As It Tries To Battle Crisis

Anne Arundel Health System joins hospitals across the region and the state of Maryland in attempting to eradicate a problem medical institutions now realize they helped create. Meanwhile, the Senate HELP Committee will plan on a hearing to address the epidemic next month. Baltimore Sun: Hospitals Cut Back On Prescribing Opioids To Address Addiction Problem …

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Massive Data-Gathering Project Strives To Be Inclusive Where So Many Studies Have Failed In Past

The National Institutes of Health’s wide-sweeping data-gathering project, called “All Of Us,” has set a goal of ensuring that more than half of the participants come from communities that are historically underrepresented in biomedical research. In other public health news: brain science, diabetes-related amputations, kidney disease and more. Stat: To Advance Precision Medicine, NIH Turns …

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VA Steps Up Efforts To Screen And Treat Veterans For Hepatitis C

With a higher rate of infection reported among vets than the general population, the Department of Veterans Affairs started taking proactive measures three years ago to cure patients. Meanwhile, Agent Orange exposure and a wrongful death case are also in veterans health news headlines today. KQED: In The Battle Against Hepatitis C, The VA Takes …

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Drug’s $475K Cost Highlights Pricing Problems With Unique, Breakthrough Therapies

“We need a new payment model,” Steve Miller, chief medical officer at Express Scripts Holding Co., said while criticizing Novartis’ new drug. Bloomberg: Novartis’s $475,000 Price On Cancer Therapy Meets ResistanceThe $475,000 price tag on Novartis AG’s latest breakthrough cancer therapy came under fire from one of the biggest managers of drug costs in the …

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Money-Saving Offer For Medicare’s Late Enrollees Is Expiring. Can They Buy Time?

Many older Americans who have Affordable Care Act insurance policies are going to miss a Sept. 30 deadline to enroll in Medicare, and they need more time to make the change, advocates say. A lifetime of late enrollment penalties typically await people who don’t sign up for Medicare Part B — which covers doctor visits …

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FDA Approves Scope With Disposable Part Aimed At Reducing Superbug Infections

Seeking to prevent superbug outbreaks, federal health officials said they have approved the first gastrointestinal medical scope with a disposable cap for use in the U.S. The Food and Drug Administration said that the design of the new duodenoscope by Japanese device maker Pentax should make it easier to remove dangerous bacteria that can become …

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High On Drugs? Anthem Cites Soaring Drug Costs To Justify 35% Rate Hike in California

Health insurance giant Anthem predicts Californians will pop a lot more pills next year. To make the case for a hefty premium hike in the state’s individual insurance market, Anthem Blue Cross has forecast a 30 percent jump in prescription drug costs for 2018. Such a sharp increase is nearly double the estimates of two …

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Narrow Networks Get Even Tighter When Shopping For Mental Health Specialists

If you’ve got a plan offered on the federal health law’s insurance marketplace and you’re looking for a therapist, you may have to look really hard: The average provider network includes only 11 percent of all the mental health care providers in a given market, according to a recent study. An average marketplace plan’s network, …

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