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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]
Highlights: Calif. nurse union in contract fight; personhood measure in Colo.; Md. transgender coverage

Highlights: Calif. nurse union in contract fight; personhood measure in Colo.; Md. transgender coverage

But this is no church service, and nurses are not here to worship. The California Nurses Association is rousing its troops for battle. California's powerful nurses' union will begin bargaining next week with Kaiser Permanente on a new four-year contract for nurses at its Northern California hospitals. (Kaiser Health News is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.) Kaiser operates the largest hospital system in the state, by number of hospitals and number of hospital beds, and is the eighth largest health system in the country (Dembosky, 7/22). [More]

CNN poll: Half of Americans say Obamacare has helped their families or others

A CNN poll finds that more than half the public says the health law helped their families or others, but fewer than one in five say they have personally benefited. [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]

Undercover agents get health insurance subsidies with fake IDs

Federal investigators, working undercover for the Government Accountability Office, said they had been able to obtain subsidized health insurance under the health law using fictitious identities and false documents. The administration said it was working on remedying the verification problems. [More]

Marketplace confronts confusion in face of conflicting rulings

News outlets report that providers and insurers worry the two appellate court decisions could undermine the stability of the newly expanded health insurance markets. Meanwhile, governors in those states that opted not to set up their own marketplaces may face pressure if consumers who used healthcare.gov to shop for coverage lose their subsidies. [More]

How will the latest health law decisions affect you?

News outlets offer consumer impact insight over Tuesday's rulings on the health law's subsidies to buy health insurance on the federal and state marketplaces. [More]
Contraception accommodation for religious groups to be broadened

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]

Dueling rulings on health law subsidies leave states in lurch

States are pondering their places in the health law's federal- or state-based health insurance exchanges after a pair of contradictory appeals court rulings Tuesday threw up in the air if states that use the federal exchange can offer subsidies to their residents to help afford coverage. [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]
Narrow networks backlash being felt across the insurance marketplace and campaign trail

Narrow networks backlash being felt across the insurance marketplace and campaign trail

News outlets report that consumer frustration with health law plans' limited choice of doctors and hospitals is emerging in a number of areas. [More]
Highlights: Florida officials crack down on direct Medicaid marketing; a wellness plan in Washington state breaks the mold

Highlights: Florida officials crack down on direct Medicaid marketing; a wellness plan in Washington state breaks the mold

[Florida] health officials are taking a cue from past problems and are banning health insurance companies from marketing their plans directly to Medicaid consumers as the state is rolling out a massive overhaul by transitioning millions into managed care. Insurance companies are allowed to market to consumers under the contracts, but only if the state gives prior approval (Kennedy, 7/22). [More]
Drug industry news: FDA again offers warning about a Dallas compounding pharmacy; more on Sovaldi

Drug industry news: FDA again offers warning about a Dallas compounding pharmacy; more on Sovaldi

For the third time in 15 months, the FDA is warning health care providers and consumers not to use drugs that were made by a Dallas compounder because the medicines may be contaminated. And the ongoing struggle between the agency and NuVision Pharmacy underscores the difficulties that beset the pharmaceutical supply chain despite a recently passed law designed to bolster safety (Silverman, 7/21). [More]

Despite controversies and doubts, Cover Oregon board meeting to plan for the future

The board directing the troubled Oregon health exchange is meeting this week to begin making recommendations about next steps and the future. In addition, Washington's health benefit exchange faces challenges of its own. [More]
First Edition: July 22, 2014

First Edition: July 22, 2014

Reporting for Kaiser Health News, Susan Jaffe writes: "Medicare officials have allowed patients at dozens of hospitals participating in pilot projects across the country to be exempted from the controversial requirement that limits nursing home coverage to seniors admitted to a hospital for at least three days. [More]
Viewpoints: Problems in training docs; impact of HHS' territory decision; what Halbig decision might mean

Viewpoints: Problems in training docs; impact of HHS' territory decision; what Halbig decision might mean

ast week's burst of world disorder was ideal for a news dump, and the White House didn't disappoint: On no legal basis, all 4.5 million residents of the five U.S. territories were quietly released from ObamaCare. [More]
How is the health law working on the local level?

How is the health law working on the local level?

Opened in March, Detroit Central City is the first community mental health clinic in southeast Michigan to become a specially designated, federally qualified health clinic to integrate mental health care with physical health, or primary care. [More]
Obama administration, state regulators focus efforts on insurer networks

Obama administration, state regulators focus efforts on insurer networks

The New York Times reports that standards are being developed to protect consumers' choices of doctors and hospitals under the health law's new insurance plans. Also, the Wall Street Journal checks in on how the ranks of the uninsured are reacting to the overhaul. [More]

Florida's dominant insurer signals increases ahead for consumers with exchange plans

News outlets from Colorado, Missouri, Washington, Oregon and Minnesota report on developments regarding the online insurances marketplaces, coverage and premium costs. [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]