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Viewpoints: The doctor is in -- at Walmart; a 'hole' in the Halbig strategy

Viewpoints: The doctor is in -- at Walmart; a 'hole' in the Halbig strategy

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. wants to disrupt another mass market: health care. The company is piloting what it hopes will be a broad network of primary-care clinics. [More]
Out-of-state clinic key to Texas abortion law battle

Out-of-state clinic key to Texas abortion law battle

Challengers of a tough Texas law regulating abortion clinics argue that it would soon close El Paso's sole abortion clinic. [More]
First Edition: August 8, 2014

First Edition: August 8, 2014

Today's headlines include reports that President Barack Obama signed into law the $16.3 billion measure to overhaul the veterans' health system. [More]
State highlights: Abortion restrictions prompt Senate fights; Vt.'s single payer March; Kan. uninsured numbers up

State highlights: Abortion restrictions prompt Senate fights; Vt.'s single payer March; Kan. uninsured numbers up

The 2014 campaign hasn't had the equivalent of Todd Akin's infamous rape comments driving the abortion debate. Instead, Democrats and Republicans are using a slew of new state abortion restrictions as weapons in the tight battle for control of the Senate. [More]
First Edition: August 7, 2014

First Edition: August 7, 2014

Today's headlines include stories about how uninsured people fare with the health law's exemptions. [More]
Viewpoints: Higher costs don't mean better health quality; states and the uninsured

Viewpoints: Higher costs don't mean better health quality; states and the uninsured

The good news about health care spending continues. In the first nine months of this fiscal year, Medicare spending increased only 1.2 percent in nominal terms, and for 2014, it's now projected to be $1,000 lower per beneficiary than the Congressional Budget Office said it would be as recently as 2010. Even the Medicare trustees are starting to recognize that something big may be happening. In evaluating the recent deceleration, however, a crucial question remains: Can slower cost growth continue without harming the quality of outcomes? (Peter R. Orszag, 8/5). [More]

Texas abortion providers ask federal court to block portion of stringent state law

Owners of abortion clinics in the state are seeking relief from enforcement of a state law that is set to take effect Sept. 1. It sets out the same strict building and equipment regulations that are applied to ambulatory surgical centers. Monday marked the first day of court room action. [More]
GOP operatives in search of anti-health law messages that will stick

GOP operatives in search of anti-health law messages that will stick

Politico reports that, as the midterm elections are quickly approaching, Republican pollsters are testing out messages with likely voters in order to determine which ones resonated best with key target groups. [More]
Federal judge strikes down Alabama abortion clinic law

Federal judge strikes down Alabama abortion clinic law

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ruled Monday that state lawmakers exceeded their authority when they passed a law last year requiring doctors at abortion clinics to have hospital admitting privileges. [More]
First Edition: August 5, 2014

First Edition: August 5, 2014

Today's headlines include coverage of a partnership between two of California's largest insurers in which they will join forces to create a database of patient medical records. [More]
State highlights: Calif. contemplates drug testing for doctors; Federal trial testing Texas abortion law begins today

State highlights: Calif. contemplates drug testing for doctors; Federal trial testing Texas abortion law begins today

At a time when random drug testing is part of the job for pilots, train operators, police officers and firefighters -; to name a few -; one high-profile line of work has managed to remain exempt: doctors. [More]
First Edition: August 4, 2014

First Edition: August 4, 2014

Today's headlines include a variety of health policy stories reflecting developments on the state level. [More]
Health law critics ask Supreme Court to take case about subsidies

Health law critics ask Supreme Court to take case about subsidies

The appeal comes after the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond upheld the administration's use of subsidies on the federal insurance marketplaces. [More]
State highlights: Maryland's top health official leaving for Johns Hopkins; Minnesota lawmakers to propose legislation to require contraception coverage

State highlights: Maryland's top health official leaving for Johns Hopkins; Minnesota lawmakers to propose legislation to require contraception coverage

Maryland's top health official, Joshua M. Sharfstein, announced Wednesday that he will leave at the end of Gov. Martin O'Malley's term in January to become an associate dean at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (Johnson, 7/30). [More]

First Edition: July 31, 2014

Today's headlines include reports about the possible hazards that the future might hold for healthcare.gov. [More]
Viewpoints: Narrow networks 'here to stay;' gun owners challenge doctor privileges in Fla.

Viewpoints: Narrow networks 'here to stay;' gun owners challenge doctor privileges in Fla.

The federal government will begin tightening its rules to make sure that narrow networks don't get too narrow. There is some precedent for the reaction: In the 1990s, cheaper narrow-network H.M.O. plans proliferated in the employer market, but they disappeared after mass public outcry. [More]

Federal court rejects Mississippi law targeting state's only open abortion clinic

A federal appeals court blocked a Mississippi law from taking effect that would have caused the state's only abortion clinic to close because it would impose "an undue burden" on women. [More]
First Edition: July 30, 2014

First Edition: July 30, 2014

Today's headlines include a range of health policy headines, including news from Capitol Hill on the Senate confirmation of Robert McDonald to head the VA. [More]
Viewpoints: Medicare's future finances; 'promising deal' on VA; Texas 'war on abortion'

Viewpoints: Medicare's future finances; 'promising deal' on VA; Texas 'war on abortion'

Medicare got some good news Monday, when the trustees who oversee its finances announced that the fund that pays for hospital care will remain solvent until 2030, four years longer than its forecast from last year. [More]
First Edition: July 29, 2014

First Edition: July 29, 2014

Today's headlines include coverage of the latest Medicare trustee report and the details of the veterans care legislation on Capitol Hill. [More]