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First Edition: July 14, 2014

First Edition: July 14, 2014

Today's headlines include coverage of Medicare, the health law and veterans' care policy issues as well as reports from the campaign trail. [More]
Viewpoints: Parsing newest reports of coverage gains; 'scientific fraudsters'

Viewpoints: Parsing newest reports of coverage gains; 'scientific fraudsters'

It will take a while to understand fully how the Affordable Care Act affects the quality of health care and access to doctors in this country. [More]
Viewpoints: Turning to new legal challenges to ACA; is the law working?; Medicaid problems in N.C.

Viewpoints: Turning to new legal challenges to ACA; is the law working?; Medicaid problems in N.C.

The Supreme Court's term ended in June with another Affordable Care Act ruling, and the ACA survived largely unscathed. Burwell v. Hobby Lobby has important ramifications for women's health and religious freedom but does not invalidate a single section of the law. [More]
Longer looks: Doctors' misunderstanding of test results; the medical facts about birth control

Longer looks: Doctors' misunderstanding of test results; the medical facts about birth control

[Gerd] Gigerenzer, director of the Harding Center for Risk Literacy in Berlin, is an expert in uncertainty and decision-making. His new book, Risk Savvy, takes aim at health professionals for not giving patients the information they need to make choices about healthcare. But it's not just that doctors and dentists can't reel off the relevant stats for every treatment option. Even when the information is placed in front of them, Gigerenzer says, they often can't make sense of it (William Kremer, 7/6). [More]

Congressional Democrats introduce legislation to undo Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision

With only a limited calendar to work with, Democrats view this push as an important aspect of the 2014 congressional campaign. [More]
Vasectomy associated with small increased risk of prostate cancer

Vasectomy associated with small increased risk of prostate cancer

Vasectomy was associated with a small increased risk of prostate cancer, and a stronger risk for advanced or lethal prostate cancer according to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health. [More]

Congressional Democrats push legislation to override Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., are expected to advance a bill Wednesday that would prevent companies from using a religious freedom law to avoid complying with the health law's contraception coverage mandate. [More]
Viewpoints: Misreading Hobby Lobby; calmer climate for ACA; danger of tuberculosis, measles

Viewpoints: Misreading Hobby Lobby; calmer climate for ACA; danger of tuberculosis, measles

Liberals should spend less time lauding the dissents in last week's Hobby Lobby decision by the U.S. Supreme Court and more time reading them. [More]
First Edition: June 9, 2014

First Edition: June 9, 2014

Today's headlines include a status report on GOP discussions and debate over plans to replace the health law as well as coverage of emerging legislation to override the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision. [More]

Senate majority leader vows response to Hobby Lobby decision

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Democrats will take up legislation to address the Supreme Court's decision allowing some employers with religious objections to opt out of the health law's contraceptive mandate. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood sets up a text helpline for women who have lost or will lose contraceptive coverage. [More]
Viewpoints: Wheaton injunction muddies court's ruling on contraceptives; Boston hospital merger problems; advice for new VA chief

Viewpoints: Wheaton injunction muddies court's ruling on contraceptives; Boston hospital merger problems; advice for new VA chief

In a bizarre attempt to have it both ways, the Supreme Court held that a small evangelical Protestant college in Illinois did not have to include contraceptive coverage in employee health insurance even though it didn't fill out the paperwork the government required for claiming an exemption. .. [More]
State highlights: Calif. rejecting 'free money'; N.C. Medicaid changes, problems; Ill. readies employer contraception coverage vote

State highlights: Calif. rejecting 'free money'; N.C. Medicaid changes, problems; Ill. readies employer contraception coverage vote

Consumer advocates and some legislators were surprised and frustrated when California health officials recently refused a $6 million donation to help people re-up their Medi-Cal health coverage. Now two senators have proposed an unusual solution: a bill to force the state to accept the offer from The California Endowment (Gorman, 7/4). [More]

Nonprofit religious groups pose next challenge to contraceptive mandate

The issue in more than four dozen lawsuits from faith-affiliated colleges, hospitals and charities is how far the government must go to accommodate them. [More]

Pending health law legal action threatens premium subsidies and exchanges

One of the key questions, according to The Fiscal Times, is whether the premium subsidies available to people shopping on the federal exchange are legal. [More]
FDA grants Breakthrough Therapy status to Novartis' CTL019 for treatment of relapsed/refractory ALL

FDA grants Breakthrough Therapy status to Novartis' CTL019 for treatment of relapsed/refractory ALL

Novartis announced today that the United States Food and Drug Administration has granted Breakthrough Therapy status to CTL019, an investigational chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) therapy for the treatment of pediatric and adult patients with relapsed/refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia (r/r ALL). [More]
First Edition: July 7, 2014

First Edition: July 7, 2014

Today's headlines include a range of stories related to the implementation of the health law, and the politics surrounding it. [More]
State highlights: N.C. lawmakers reach Medicaid agreement; Idaho asks SCOTUS to take up Medicaid reimbursement

State highlights: N.C. lawmakers reach Medicaid agreement; Idaho asks SCOTUS to take up Medicaid reimbursement

For the past few weeks, two big issues have kept the two chambers of the General Assembly from reaching an agreement on next year's state budget: teacher salaries and Medicaid. But on Wednesday, the Senate and the House of Representatives finally moved closer to agreement on their Medicaid forecasts, loosening a logjam that's kept legislators in Raleigh past July 1, the beginning of the fiscal year (Hoban, 7/3). [More]
Viewpoints: Expanding Hobby Lobby decision; the faux war on women; dispute over pelvic exams

Viewpoints: Expanding Hobby Lobby decision; the faux war on women; dispute over pelvic exams

The Supreme Court wasted no time in delivering a message to anyone who thought its Hobby Lobby ruling was limited to religious objections to coverage of purported abortion methods: You're wrong. [More]

Administration cites Hobby Lobby ruling in response to challenge by religious nonprofits

The Obama administration cites the Supreme Court's opinion Wednesday to buttress its claim it has offered religious nonprofits an acceptable compromise to the health law's contraceptive coverage mandate. Meanwhile, House Democrats craft legislation that would bar for-profit companies from denying birth control coverage to their employees. [More]
First Edition: July 3,2014

First Edition: July 3,2014

Today's early morning highlights from the major news organizations, including more analysis of the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision and concerns in New York about significant insurance rate increases for 2015. [More]