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Va. lawmaker stabbed by so calls for national mental health system reform

Elsewhere, the Washington state Supreme Court will allow psychiatric hospitals more time to find beds for patients with mental illnesses, and Connecticut plans to overhaul children's mental health care. [More]

Percentage of Texans without health insurance drops after first enrollment period of ACA

The percentage of Texans without health insurance dropped after the first enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a report released today by the Episcopal Health Foundation and Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. [More]

Insurers, exchanges gird for next open enrollment

Officials say they are expecting glitches, but most do not expect the crippling technical problems that afflicted last year's open enrollment period. [More]
First Edition: September 3, 2014

First Edition: September 3, 2014

Today's headlines include reports about how insurers and consumers are bracing for round two as the health law's online insurance marketplaces prepare for open enrollment season. [More]
State highlights: Mass. health care costs grow smaller 2.3 percent; new rules in Calif. for inmates with mental illness

State highlights: Mass. health care costs grow smaller 2.3 percent; new rules in Calif. for inmates with mental illness

Two years ago, Massachusetts set what was considered an ambitious goal: The state would not let that persistent monster, rising health care costs, increase faster than the economy as a whole. [More]
Viewpoints: Medicaid expansion spreading; 'GOP's woman problem;' praising Medicare

Viewpoints: Medicaid expansion spreading; 'GOP's woman problem;' praising Medicare

The latest jerry-built effort to destroy health care reform could be defeated in the full federal appeals court in the District of Columbia. In July, a three-judge panel of that court -; taking a ridiculously crabbed view of a section in the law -; ruled 2-to-1 that tax-credit subsidies are allowed only for those buying insurance on a health exchange "established by the state." [More]
Longer looks: A new kind of abortion war; foster kids and psychotropic drugs

Longer looks: A new kind of abortion war; foster kids and psychotropic drugs

While pro-life activists fight to rescue IVF embryos from the freezer, pregnant women in their third trimester with catastrophic fetal anomalies have nowhere to turn. ... Perhaps there is no other issue that touches on so many core dimensions of American society-;legal, medical, scientific, theological, political, philosophical, biological, ethical, and ecological. What some on one side of the debate call reproductive justice, others call taking a life. What some call a person, others call a cluster of cells. [More]
Viewpoints: Employers and health benefits; Sen. Pryor's ACA endorsement; waging war on hep C

Viewpoints: Employers and health benefits; Sen. Pryor's ACA endorsement; waging war on hep C

Most of the political class seems to have decided that ObamaCare is working well enough, the opposition is fading, and the subsidies and regulation are settling in as the latest wing of the entitlement state. [More]
State highlights: Only 1/3 chose Medicaid plan in Fla.; Calif. Prop 46 money

State highlights: Only 1/3 chose Medicaid plan in Fla.; Calif. Prop 46 money

A selection of health policy stories from Florida, Oregon, California, New York, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota and New Jersey. [More]
First Edition: August 22, 2014

First Edition: August 22, 2014

Kaiser Health News consumer columnist Michelle Andrews writes: "How much leeway do employers and insurers have in deciding whether they'll cover contraceptives without charge and in determining which methods make the cut? Not much, as it turns out, but that hasn't stopped some from trying. Kaiser Health News readers still write in regularly describing battles they're waging to get the birth control coverage they're entitled to" (Andrews, 8/22). [More]
Viewpoints: Threat to drug development; GOP's Obamacare criticism tempered; finding doctors for seniors

Viewpoints: Threat to drug development; GOP's Obamacare criticism tempered; finding doctors for seniors

An invasive species has been introduced into the U.S. health innovation ecosystem, with a growing danger of permanent damage to the development of specialty drugs. [More]
Viewpoints: Medicaid's good deal; Medicare hospital errors; CBO on exchange coverage

Viewpoints: Medicaid's good deal; Medicare hospital errors; CBO on exchange coverage

If the governor and the legislature refuse to accept the federal deal [for Medicaid expansion] -; as 24 states have so far -; they in effect vote against one of the most fantastic cash-flow deals ever offered them. ... And it gets worse. [More]

Retiree health fund pushes postal service into red

Nearly all of the Postal Service's products produced revenue increases, but the agency is in debt because of a congressional requirement that it pay about $5 billion into a future retiree health care fund. [More]
First Edition: August 12, 2014

First Edition: August 12, 2014

Today's headlines include stories about how the federal government's experience with healthcare.gov has led to the creation of the U.S. Digital Service. [More]

Rural residents pay more for exchange plans

Rural residents paid slightly higher premiums for exchange health plans than their city counterparts, reports Modern Healthcare. Meanwhile, Vermont's GOP leaders say they want the state's health insurance exchange to succeed, but residents are fed up with problems. [More]

Health law negatives reach an all-time high

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation's monthly tracking poll, negative views of the health law reach a high point, erasing six months of gradual improvements in popularity. [More]
First Edition: August 1, 2014

First Edition: August 1, 2014

Today's headlines include more questions about how healthcare.gov will function during the next open enrollment period. [More]

Cigna's quarterly earnings up

Gains driven largely by global benefits operation after Cigna reported earlier that its business on the health law marketplaces was soft. News outlets also examine Humana and WellPoint's earnings. [More]
State highlights: New York state faces $1.3B Medicaid payback problem while Mayor De Blasio advances plan to reduce city employees' health costs

State highlights: New York state faces $1.3B Medicaid payback problem while Mayor De Blasio advances plan to reduce city employees' health costs

When Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his first labor agreements with New York City unions this spring, he was sharply criticized for granting long-awaited wage increases in exchange for promises of unspecified though sizable savings on health care expenses (Greenhouse and Stewart, 7/29). [More]

First Edition: July 31, 2014

Today's headlines include reports about the possible hazards that the future might hold for healthcare.gov. [More]