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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]
Hardship exemptions allow some to continue to buy coverage on health law's marketplaces

Hardship exemptions allow some to continue to buy coverage on health law's marketplaces

Elsewhere, the San Jose Mercury News examines who can opt out of the health law's mandate to have insurance on religious grounds. [More]
Highlights: Texas abortion rates falls dramatically; start-up problems for Virginia's psychiatric reforms

Highlights: Texas abortion rates falls dramatically; start-up problems for Virginia's psychiatric reforms

A four-month-old psychiatric-bed registry that is supposed to provide up-to-the-minute information for Virginians who need emergency mental health treatment is being updated as seldom as once a day, state officials told a panel of lawmakers this week (Shin, 7/22). [More]
First Edition: July 24, 2014

First Edition: July 24, 2014

Today's headlines include more analysis of this week's conflicting appeals courts' decisions regarding a key part of the health law. [More]

Questions abound as two appeals courts split on legality of health law subsidies

Two U.S. courts of appeals reached different decisions regarding the issue of whether the health law's subsidies can be used by consumers shopping for health coverage on the federal exchange, because their states opted against setting up their own online insurance marketplace. [More]

Contraception accommodation for religious groups to be broadened

The Obama administration said Tuesday it will create a new option for certain religious nonprofits that object to the health law's contraception mandate and which does not entail submitting a form that they say also violates their religious beliefs. [More]
First Edition: July 23, 2014

First Edition: July 23, 2014

Today's headlines include coverage and analysis of yesterday's conflicting legal decisions regarding the health law. [More]
First Edition: July, 21, 2014

First Edition: July, 21, 2014

Today's headlines include a story about an effort by regulators to widen insurer networks, as well as a range of other health policy developments. [More]

New York officials take steps in response to Supreme Court contraceptive coverage decision

Officials make a change in the state's Medicaid program and legislation is proposed in the state Senate. [More]

Companies dropping birth control coverage must tell workers

Closely held companies that drop insurance coverage of birth control for religious reasons have 60 days to inform their employees, the administration said Thursday. The rule follows the Supreme Court's decision allowing some companies to opt out of the federal health law's mandate. [More]
Viewpoints: GOP's 'cynical' lawsuit against Obama; debt crisis is not over

Viewpoints: GOP's 'cynical' lawsuit against Obama; debt crisis is not over

There's not much that Republicans like about the 2010 Affordable Care Act, but one thing they particularly dislike is the requirement that employers with 50 or more full-time workers provide comprehensive health insurance. [More]

Senate Democrats fail to reverse Hobby Lobby decision

The bill, which would have restored employers' mandate to provide birth control to women, did not garner the necessary 60 votes. Republicans argued Democrats were using the issue to gain advantages in the midterm campaign. [More]
First Edition: July 17, 2014

First Edition: July 17, 2014

Today's headlines include reports about how Capitol Hill politics are impacting health care policy. Houston Public Media's Carrie Feibel, working in partnership with Kaiser Health News and NPR, reports: "Primary care doctors have reported problems making referrals for patients who have purchased some of the cheaper plans from the federal insurance marketplace. [More]
Senate Dems aim to reverse Hobby Lobby decision, undermine state abortion restrictions

Senate Dems aim to reverse Hobby Lobby decision, undermine state abortion restrictions

Democrats have scheduled a Senate vote Wednesday on legislation offered to respond to the Supreme Court's recent ruling. And, on Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony about another measure that would void some state abortion restrictions. [More]
Viewpoints: Lower health spending is welcome news; media bias against health law success

Viewpoints: Lower health spending is welcome news; media bias against health law success

The last few years have seen a puzzling and welcome new trend in health care spending: Instead of going up and up, increases have slowed way down. [More]
First Edition: July 16, 2014

First Edition: July 16, 2014

Today's headlines include reports about the Congressional Budget Office's latest estimate on federal health care spending. [More]
States grapple with mental illness issues; Oregon moves closer to limiting Medicaid patients' access to new hepatitis C drugs

States grapple with mental illness issues; Oregon moves closer to limiting Medicaid patients' access to new hepatitis C drugs

The numbers, posted daily on the Cook County sheriff's website, would be alarming at an urgent care clinic, let alone a jail: On a Wednesday, 36 percent of all new arrivals report having a mental illness. On a Friday, it's 54 percent. But inside the razor wire framing the 96-acre compound, the faces and voices of the newly arrested confirm its accidental role as Chicago's treatment center of last resort for people with serious mental illnesses (Geller, 7/14). [More]

Fact checker finds Dems' rhetoric on Hobby Lobby decision overheated

The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler says in some cases the responses from Democrats "has gotten way ahead of the facts." Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., says the House Republicans push to sue President Barack Obama has no legal merit. [More]
First Edition: July 15, 2014

First Edition: July 15, 2014

Today's headlines include news about how some states are planning to address their backlogs of new Medicaid enrollees. [More]

Dozens of religious groups refuse to sign contraceptive opt-out form

The two-page form, designed to accommodate religious beliefs, is regarded as an untenable compromise by some religious employers, reports The New York Times. Meanwhile, GOP governors see little fallout from the Supreme Court's contraceptive coverage decision and a poll shows growing Republican support for the court. [More]