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Obama presses scrutiny of 2015 health insurance rates

The president made his appeal to state insurance commissioners at a meeting Thursday. Elsewhere, consumer spending related to the health law jumps, the GOP again demands to know the White House's involvement in the healthcare.gov rollout, and hospitals try their hand as insurers. [More]

Will Sebelius run?

News outlets report that outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is contemplating a run for the Senate in Kansas. [More]
Hydrogen sulfide regulates bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells, shows study

Hydrogen sulfide regulates bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells, shows study

Stem cells in bone marrow need to produce hydrogen sulfide in order to properly multiply and form bone tissue, according to a new study from the Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC. [More]

First Edition: April 17, 2014

Today's headlines include reports about emerging political strategies related to the health law and the upcoming congressional elections. [More]

Viewpoints: Cooking the Census books; immigrants left off health law; abortion still a 'tripwire'

You can't manage what you don't measure, as the great Peter Drucker used to say, and for the White House that seems to be the goal. Out of the blue, the Census Bureau has changed how it counts health insurance-;at the precise moment when ObamaCare is roiling the insurance markets (4/15). [More]

With end-of-enrollment surge behind them, insurers see health law positives

Politico reports that many insurers are contemplating expanding -- or initiating -- their participation in exchanges. Other news outlets examine tax day, the health law and the Internal Revenue Service. [More]

Uninsured rate drops more in states that expanded Medicaid, run own exchanges

News outlets also provide updates on Medicaid expansion efforts and debates in Colorado, Virginia, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina and Indiana. [More]
Researchers develop novel tools to learn how astrocytes listen in on neuronal communication

Researchers develop novel tools to learn how astrocytes listen in on neuronal communication

‚ÄčEverything we do - all of our movements, thoughts and feelings - are the result of neurons talking with one another, and recent studies have suggested that some of the conversations might not be all that private. [More]
UTMB experts honored with Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions to study of deadly diseases

UTMB experts honored with Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions to study of deadly diseases

The global experts who study the deadliest infectious diseases recognized the contributions of Frederick A. Murphy and Thomas G. Ksiazek, professors at the University of Texas Medical Branch, with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 6th annual International Symposium on Filoviruses. The filoviruses include Ebola and Marburg viruses that cause death in 50 to 90 percent of people infected. The current outbreak of Ebola virus raging in West Africa has caused more than 100 deaths so far. [More]
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]

Burwell steps into hot seat

Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the president's nominee to head the Health and Human Services Department, may have some goodwill, but she will still have to navigate plenty of challenges -- starting with her confirmation hearing. [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]
Viewpoints: Sebelius withstood attacks, but wasn't 'warrior' for law; Burwell offers GOP chance to focus on law's problems

Viewpoints: Sebelius withstood attacks, but wasn't 'warrior' for law; Burwell offers GOP chance to focus on law's problems

Kathleen Sebelius was known for her patience and cool under savage attack by Republicans, who treated her as a stand-in for the health law. She sat through hearings calmly reciting talking points while they fumed and fulminated for their audience. But that turned out to be one of her biggest liabilities ... What the health law needed in its first years was a cheerful, populist warrior who could laugh at the truly ridiculous distortions and lies Republicans invented about it, and roar back with the truth. Instead, she came across as a mild technocrat. She never emerged from the defensive crouch she assumed after the law's calamitous debut (David Firestone, 4/11). [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]

High cost of potent hepatitis drug presents challenges across the U.S.

Sovaldi, the hepatitis C treatment drug, is considered a breakthrough for patients with the disease. However, since, it won federal approval in December, lawmakers, insurers and patient advocates have begun an all-out revolt over it's high price point of $1,000 a daily pill or $84,000 over 12 weeks of treatment. [More]

New study of NC Pre-K program to prepare four-year-olds for success in kindergarten

Scientists from UNC's Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute have released their new study of NC Pre-K, the state's program to prepare four-year-olds for success in kindergarten. According to FPG's report, students enrolled in NC Pre-K show significant gains across all areas of learning. [More]

Conservatives continue health law attack barrage

Leading Republicans readying for a White House run in 2016 also unofficially kicked off their campaigns in New Hampshire Saturday by hammering the health law. [More]

What challenges lie ahead for exchanges

Questions about 2015 premiums, the age and health status of the newly insured and the impact of premiums on the working poor will be answered in the months ahead. In addition, the New York Times looks at the reasons that New York's state-based exchange may have become one of the most competitive in the country. [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 healthcare.gov and the decision to leave the Obama administration. Meanwhile, news outlets also examine how her resignation unfolded. [More]