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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]

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]
Viewpoints: 'Entitlement meltdown;' improving Medicare Advantage; 'sloppy work habits' at CDC

Viewpoints: 'Entitlement meltdown;' improving Medicare Advantage; 'sloppy work habits' at CDC

Each day, 10,000 baby boomers retire and begin receiving Medicare and Social Security benefits. And while five workers supported the benefits of each retiree in 1960, there will be only two workers funding each retiree by 2030. Those who dismiss long-term budget projections should re-read the last paragraph. The retirement of 77 million baby boomers into Social Security and Medicare is not a theoretical projection. Demography is destiny (Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, 7/21). [More]
Information about female condom is necessary to communicate with young people

Information about female condom is necessary to communicate with young people

The female condom is one of just two barrier methods that can protect against sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancies, yet many young adults are not aware of the device, a new study by two UT Arlington researchers has found. [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]
First Edition: July 18, 2014

First Edition: July 18, 2014

Today's headlines include reports from the marketplace, including UnitedHealthcare's move toward the health law's insurance marketplaces and the latest on the Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into insider trading related to a health policy change. [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]
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]

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]
First Edition: July 10, 2014

First Edition: July 10, 2014

Today's headlines cover health policy headlines from the marketplace, the campaign trail and regarding the health law's implementation. [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]