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Viewpoints: Obamacare dilemma -- some people dislike the law but embrace its provisions; are health costs falling?

Viewpoints: Obamacare dilemma -- some people dislike the law but embrace its provisions; are health costs falling?

Polls have consistently shown that even though the public opposes Obamacare, people like some of its most significant provisions. That's particularly true of the requirement that insurers ignore preexisting conditions when signing up customers for coverage. [More]

CBO shrinks estimate of health law spending based on lower subsidy costs

Expanding health coverage under the health law will also slow premium growth, helping lower the total cost of the law, the nonpartisan office said. [More]

Some push to sync Obamacare deadline with tax day

This year's intersection of the deadlines to sign up for health insurance, as well as to file taxes, elevated the role of many tax preparers who have been educating uninsured clients about the health law. Some tax preparers contend the two deadlines should be permanently connected. [More]

Survey: Signing up for Obamacare no walk in the park

California enrollees said they had trouble getting through to call centers, calculating their income and gathering the required documentation, among other difficulties, according to a survey by the California HealthCare Foundation. Meanwhile, media outlets note that Tuesday is the last chance to sign up in California, while April 22 is the deadline in Minnesota. [More]

First Edition: April 15, 2014

Today's headlines include reports about the Congressional Budget Office's latest estimate of the costs for expanding health insurance. [More]

CBO projects health law subsidies will cost less than previously expected

The new CBO projections find that the health law's expansion of health coverage will, from 2015–2024, cost $104 billion less than previously projected. [More]

Va. GOP not backing down in Medicaid stalemate

Despite appeals from traditional allies such as local hospitals, chambers of commerce and business leaders, Republicans in Virginia's House of Delegates remain firm in their stand against expansion. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania's request to set up a modified expansion is moving into a negotiation phase with federal officials, and union members take the fight to voters in Florida. [More]

What is 'preventive' care? answer causing patient-doctor friction

Access to preventive care at no charge to the patient is a tenet of the health law, but differences over just what's considered "preventive" are causing friction between doctors and patients, reports The Wall Street Journal. Other stories look at how California community clinics have yet to see increased demand for primary care doctors and how plans are targeting newly insured diabetics to avoid costly complications. [More]

Highligts: Calif.'s medical system for prisons; gender therapy in Boston; Ga. public health money

California's $840-million medical prison -- the largest in the nation -- was built to provide care to more than 1,800 inmates. When fully operational, it was supposed to help the state's prison system emerge from a decade of federal oversight brought on by the persistent neglect and poor medical treatment of inmates. [More]

Obama turns to 'proven manager' to shepherd HHS and health law

Sylvia Mathews Burwell, whom President Barack Obama named to replace outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, is a relatively unknown 'budget wonk' who is being asked to navigate some difficult terrain to keep the president's signature achievement on track. [More]

Sebelius notes misstepts but praises the health law

In an appearance on "Meet The Press," the outgoing Health and Human Services secretary offered her views on the botched rollout of and the decision to leave the Obama administration. Meanwhile, news outlets also examine how her resignation unfolded. [More]

Highlights: Va. mental health care task force; pharmacist duties in N.C.; nurse practitioners in Conn.

A selection of health policy stories from Virginia, North Carolina, New York, Connecticut, Minnesota, Florida, Iowa and Oregon. [More]
Longer looks: Vermont's single payer system; Nevada's cancer cluster; the toll of dementia on a family

Longer looks: Vermont's single payer system; Nevada's cancer cluster; the toll of dementia on a family

Skatchewan is a vast prairie province in the middle of Canada. It's home to hockey great Gordie Howe and the world's first curling museum. But Canadians know it for another reason: it's the birthplace of the country's single-payer health-care system. [More]

Viewpoints: Medicare's 'doctor payment problem'; a 'wasted advantage'; 'puzzling' Rand numbers

The news that a small percentage of the country's physicians collected billions of dollars from Medicare in a single year may or may not be a testament to individual greed; some of the top recipients are under investigation for allegedly bilking the system, while others work long hours delivering costly care. [More]

Sebelius resigning, OMB director Burwell tapped to head HHS

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is resigning from the Obama administration after the rocky rollout of President Barack Obama's signature health care law, a White House official said Thursday. [More]

Oregon, Minnesota exchanges weigh next steps

Officials overseeing the troubled exchanges examine what went wrong this year and debate how to proceed. Meanwhile, a small business exchange in Georgia gets few enrollees and The Denver Post reports that more residents signed up for Medicaid than for private insurance. [More]
Study looks at factors that influence life expectancy of childhood cancer survivors

Study looks at factors that influence life expectancy of childhood cancer survivors

Many factors influence the life expectancy of childhood cancer survivors: not getting enough exercise, being underweight, and being worried about their future health or their health insurance. These are the findings of research led by Cheryl Cox of the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in the US, published in Springer's Journal of Cancer Survivorship. The study found that, on average, childhood cancer survivors passed away before they were 40 years old. [More]

HTMS introduces algorithm-based analytics model, Alfred

HTMS, an Emdeon company, is pleased to introduce Alfred™. Alfred is an algorithm-based analytics model that can help all types of healthcare stakeholders calculate health plan rates and federal subsidies through its comparison and advisory capabilities and is both easy to use and understand. [More]

First Edition: April 10, 2014

Today's headlines include a range of stories taking additional looks at the Medicare physician payment data released yesterday by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. [More]

Affordable Care Act may alter costs for Automobile and liability insurance

The expansion of health insurance accomplished under the Affordable Care Act may alter costs for several major types of liability insurance, although any such changes are likely to be modest, according to a new RAND Corporation report. [More]