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Research roundup: ACA lawsuit primer; ACA strategies in 4 states; competitive plans for those eligible for Medicare and Medicaid

Research roundup: ACA lawsuit primer; ACA strategies in 4 states; competitive plans for those eligible for Medicare and Medicaid

In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the ACA, but that did not end attacks against the law. Since the decision in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, objecting parties have filed more than 100 cases in federal courts nationwide. [More]
Tips for people to choose right physical therapist

Tips for people to choose right physical therapist

After an injury or surgery, rehabilitation is often a critical factor on the road to recovery. Since physical therapy is usually a weekly commitment and may be for an extended period of time, convenience is an important consideration, according to JeMe Cioppa-Mosca, vice president of Rehabilitation at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. [More]
Help wanted: CMS begins search for HealthCare.gov contractor

Help wanted: CMS begins search for HealthCare.gov contractor

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released an 84-page solicitation this week seeking a company to oversee the operations of the troubled health exchange website. [More]

Largest U.S. insurer to be major Obamacare player in 2015

Insurance giant UnitedHealthcare said Thursday that it would sell policies through online insurance markets in as many as 24 states next year, up from only four this year. [More]
U.S. territories, including Puerto Rico, exempted from Obamacare

U.S. territories, including Puerto Rico, exempted from Obamacare

The administration waives the law's requirements for insurers selling policies in the U.S. territories since it does not require residents there to get coverage or provide subsidies. Other stories look at pressure on the administration to issue guidance on the employer mandate and the need to educate newly insured consumers about their coverage. [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]
Va. Gov. to visit free Medical camp set up for uninsured

Va. Gov. to visit free Medical camp set up for uninsured

Gov. Terry McAuliffe will fly to southwest Virginia to draw attention to the uninsured as he continues his campaign to expand Medicaid. [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]

Questions surround how insurers are disclosing -- or not -- their 2015 proposed rates

News outlets from Florida and Iowa report on recent developments in these states. How much will it cost Floridians to buy coverage next year on Healthcare.gov? Lots of people want to know, but the insurers are keeping the prices secret in an unprecedented way (Gentry, 7/16). [More]
Unitedhealth, HCA see profits from Obamacare

Unitedhealth, HCA see profits from Obamacare

The giant insurer saw revenue growth from its Optum unit, which helped fix the federal health insurance website and has since been hired by several states. [More]
Senate Democrats fail to reverse Hobby Lobby decision

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]

Insurers seek rule change that would boost profits

The industry wants to exclude brokers' fees from being factored into administrative costs, which would reduce consumer refunds under the health law's so-called medical loss ratio rule. Currently, the rule requires plans in the small group market to spend at least 80 percent of premiums on medical costs and no more than 20 percent on administrative costs. [More]

House panel begins hearings on suit against Obama

The Rules Committee hearing highlighted bickering between Republican lawmakers and constitutional law experts. The committee is expected to vote next week on a resolution authorizing a lawsuit. [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]

State highlights: Health insurance changes catch Detroit teachers off guard; United Healthcare cuts 500 Tenn. doctors from Medicare advantage network

A selection of health policy stories from Michigan, Tennessee, California, Wisconsin, New York and North Carolina. [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]
Study finds no sign that health law has created crush of Medical demand

Study finds no sign that health law has created crush of Medical demand

The industry study finds that visits to doctors are down slightly over 2013. Another study looks at how nurses could do more in managing chronic illnesses to relieve stress on doctors. [More]

Texas Medicaid rolls grow even without expansion

More than 80,000 Texans have enrolled in Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program since the rollout of the Affordable Care Act last fall, despite the state's decision not to participate in the health law's expansion of eligibility. Enrollment and marketplace developments in Colorado and Maryland are also tracked. [More]
Impact of kidney donation on ability to change life insurance is unknown

Impact of kidney donation on ability to change life insurance is unknown

People who selflessly step up and donate a kidney can face insurance challenges afterwards, despite the lack of evidence that they have increased health risks. [More]