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Viewpoints: Fund CHIP; media overdrive on Ebola; slowdown in Medicare costs

Viewpoints: Fund CHIP; media overdrive on Ebola; slowdown in Medicare costs

In what may be a hopelessly quixotic effort, supporters of the federal Children's Health Insurance Program are trying to persuade Congress to renew its funding almost a year in advance -; and in a lame-duck session. Nevertheless, lawmakers ought to heed that call. The program plugs a troubling gap between Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act's subsidized plans, and states need to know whether they can count on federal funding or whether they will have to spend far more dollars of their own (10/21). [More]
Report: Wide variation in state exchange plans' covered benefits

Report: Wide variation in state exchange plans' covered benefits

University of Pennsylvania researchers find that the variations are significant. Other news about the online health marketplaces that open next month include Oregon's decision to ditch the old system for Medicaid enrollment, a review of navigators' roles in Georgia, and Maryland officials' assurances that their system will be ready. [More]

Employers devise strategies to avoid Obamacare fines

With large companies facing potential fines next year for not offering health insurance, some are looking at approaches such as enrolling employees in Medicaid, reports The Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, the federal government posts a notice Tuesday saying that it will continue to fund an optional health insurance program for the working poor in 2016. [More]
State highlights: Calif. ballot measure updates; Va. prison health care budget shortfall

State highlights: Calif. ballot measure updates; Va. prison health care budget shortfall

A selection of health policy stories from California, Arizona, Maine, South Dakota, Virginia, Maryland, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Texas, Washington state and Missouri. [More]
Viewpoints: Health care opponent's legal strategy; the challenge for this open enrollment

Viewpoints: Health care opponent's legal strategy; the challenge for this open enrollment

In 2011 after the first appeals circuit struck down the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate, the White House asked the Supreme Court to take the case as soon as possible and "put these challenges to rest." [More]

ACA knowledge gap greatest among uninsured

Most of the uninsured know little about the online insurance marketplaces, or that financial help is available for those with low incomes, finds a poll. [More]
Researchers develop low-cost 3-D printed facial prostheses for eye cancer patients

Researchers develop low-cost 3-D printed facial prostheses for eye cancer patients

Researchers have developed a fast and inexpensive way to make facial prostheses for eye cancer patients using facial scanning software and 3-D printing, according to findings released today at AAO 2014, the 118th annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. [More]
Renewal wrinkles, high deductibles and decisions for employers: These and other health law implementation issues grab headlines

Renewal wrinkles, high deductibles and decisions for employers: These and other health law implementation issues grab headlines

News outlets report on a range of health law implementation issues that are causing challenges for consumers, employers and Obamacare advocates. [More]

Study predicts substantial disruption in individual health insurance if ACA subsidies are eliminated

Eliminating subsidies that help low- and moderate-income people purchase coverage through government-run health insurance marketplaces would sharply boost costs for consumers and cause more than 11 million Americans to lose their health insurance, according to a new RAND Corporation study. [More]

Utah supporters of Medicaid expansion hold rally

About 100 people rallied in Salt Lake City to urge state lawmakers to pass Gov. Gary Herbert's Medicaid expansion plan. [More]
Children infected with enterovirus more likely to have type 1 diabetes

Children infected with enterovirus more likely to have type 1 diabetes

A new study published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes) shows that children who have been infected with enterovirus are 48% more likely to have developed type 1 diabetes. The study is by Dr Tsai Chung-Li, China Medical University, Taiwan, and colleagues. [More]
State highlights: Calif.'s Prop. 45 fight; new benefits for same sex couples in N.C.; Aetna sheds jobs after Medicaid drop

State highlights: Calif.'s Prop. 45 fight; new benefits for same sex couples in N.C.; Aetna sheds jobs after Medicaid drop

A selection of health policy stories from California, North Carolina, Delaware, New York, Georgia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Florida and Kansas. [More]
State exchanges gird for round two

State exchanges gird for round two

Covered California hopes to enroll more than half a million new residents this year, bringing total participants to about 1.7 million. [More]

Demographics help shape lawmakers' views on health law

Most of the congressional districts with the greatest numbers of uninsured people are represented by Democrats, according to The Associated Press. [More]

Researchers find poor access to outpatient psychiatric care in Boston, Chicago, Houston metro areas

Obtaining access to private outpatient psychiatric care in the Boston, Chicago and Houston metropolitan areas is difficult, even for those with private insurance or those willing to pay out of pocket, a new study by Harvard researchers shows. [More]
Viewpoints: 'Blunders' on Ebola; McConnell's strange logic on Obamacare; temporary victory for Texas women

Viewpoints: 'Blunders' on Ebola; McConnell's strange logic on Obamacare; temporary victory for Texas women

The point of this is not to flog Presbyterian, though a few lashes might help snap [Daniel] Varga and other administrators back to reality. [More]

Kentucky's health exchange plays big in Senate race

The state's online insurance marketplace has proven popular, creating difficulties for the Republican incumbent, Sen. Mitch McConnell, who has vowed to repeal Obamacare , and giving a boost to Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes. [More]
Myths, misconceptions about seasonal flu and flu vaccine

Myths, misconceptions about seasonal flu and flu vaccine

It's that time of year again. As days shorten, evenings become chilly and the trees start a showy display of color, it's time to roll up your sleeve and get your annual flu vaccine. [More]

BCBSTX launches new initiative to help uninsured Texans find affordable health insurance options

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) today launched a statewide education effort to help more than 6.2 million uninsured Texans find affordable health insurance options and begin to benefit from important medical services that meet their needs. [More]

What you should check before renewing health coverage

Several stories offer tips on renewing insurance policies for next year, including comparing your current policy to alternatives, which might offer better coverage at lower cost, and updating information about family size and income. [More]