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California's Medicaid program - known as Medi-Cal - provides health insurance and long-term care coverage to low-income children, their parents, elderly, and disabled people in the state.

California health insurance sign-ups continue to soar -- Latino enrollment viewed as critical

Covered California has almost reached its enrollment goal for March 31, according to numbers released Wednesday. Still, the state plans to spend millions on Spanish-language advertising in the weeks remaining before the open enrollment period ends next month. [More]

First Edition: February 20, 2014

Today's headlines include reports about Medicaid expansion challenges in Virginia and Arkansas. [More]
Highlights: Ohio gov.'s evolving stances; Conn. social services woes; abortion-ban push continues

Highlights: Ohio gov.'s evolving stances; Conn. social services woes; abortion-ban push continues

A selection of health policy stories from Ohio, Connecticut, South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, California, New York, Oklahoma, Washington, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Georgia. [More]

In Virginia, finance panel advances alternate approach to expanding Medicaid

The state's Senate Finance Committee proposed using funding set aside to pursue an expansion of the traditional Medicaid program to help as many as 400,000 state residents buy private insurance. [More]

First Edition: February 18, 2014

Kaiser Health News staff writer Jay Hancock, working in collaboration with USA Today, reports: "Congratulations. You bought insurance through one of the online Affordable Care Act exchanges, possibly after days or weeks of trying to get the site to work. Don't relax. Joining the plan is only the first challenge. Now you have to understand it. Policies sold through the online portals -- to more than 3 million people so far -- cover essential benefits and put a cap on your out-of-pocket medical costs. But you need to follow the rules" (Hancock, 2/17). [More]

NASA signs patent to develop novel biotechnology approaches that could have medical applications

NASA has signed two patent license agreements with GRoK Technologies LLC of Houston to help develop novel biotechnology approaches that could have multiple applications in space and on Earth. [More]
Women who survive stroke have worse quality of life than men

Women who survive stroke have worse quality of life than men

The good news: More people survive stroke now than 10 years ago due to improved treatment and prevention. [More]

Riverside lab’s video receives honorable mention in International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge

A video produced by the lab of Zhenbiao Yang, a professor of cell biology at the University of California, Riverside, has received an honorable mention in a challenge - the highly acclaimed International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge - given by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the journal Science. [More]

GOP considers asking for 'doc fix,' other proposals, in return for debt-ceiling raise

House Republicans are considering their options on tying proposals they want to see to passing an increase in the debt ceiling, among them fixing the way Medicare pays doctors. [More]
Viewpoints: Health law distorting--or 'undistorting' the labor market; gas stations should follow CVS' lead; ways to fight heroin

Viewpoints: Health law distorting--or 'undistorting' the labor market; gas stations should follow CVS' lead; ways to fight heroin

On Wednesday, Douglas Elmendorf, the director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, said the obvious: losing your job and choosing to work less aren't the same thing. [More]
New study co-led by scientists sheds light on role of genes, blood lipid levels in cardiovascular health

New study co-led by scientists sheds light on role of genes, blood lipid levels in cardiovascular health

New genetic evidence strengthens the case that one well-known type of cholesterol is a likely suspect in causing heart disease, but also casts further doubt on the causal role played by another type. [More]

Telephone communication in IBD care helps to identify patients at risk of high-cost medical interventions

A comprehensive analysis of patient telephone records at an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) clinic revealed that 15 percent of patients account for half of all calls to the clinic. Forty-two percent of frequent-caller patients also were seen in the emergency department or hospitalized within the following year. [More]
Research roundup: Value-based insurance; telemedicine in nursing homes; advance care planning

Research roundup: Value-based insurance; telemedicine in nursing homes; advance care planning

Each week, KHN compiles a selection of recently released health policy studies and briefs. [More]
Scientists develop new approach to design drugs from genome sequence

Scientists develop new approach to design drugs from genome sequence

In research that could ultimately lead to many new medicines, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have developed a potentially general approach to design drugs from genome sequence. As a proof of principle, they identified a highly potent compound that causes cancer cells to attack themselves and die. [More]
Optogenetics technique allows scientists to control neurons' electrical activity

Optogenetics technique allows scientists to control neurons' electrical activity

Optogenetics is a technique that allows scientists to control neurons' electrical activity with light by engineering them to express light-sensitive proteins. Within the past decade, it has become a very powerful tool for discovering the functions of different types of cells in the brain. [More]
Ipsen’s phase III clinical trial evaluating Decapeptyl in patients with prostate cancer meets primary endpoints

Ipsen’s phase III clinical trial evaluating Decapeptyl in patients with prostate cancer meets primary endpoints

Ipsen today announced that the phase III clinical trial evaluating Decapeptyl (triptorelin pamoate) 11.25 mg administered subcutaneously in patients with locally advanced or metastatic prostate cancer has met its primary endpoints. [More]

After uproar about Obamacare remarks, AOL reverses 401(K) policy

News outlets reported that the company blamed the law and the health costs of two "distressed babies" for a significant change in how it matches 401(k) contributions. [More]
CBO report on Obamacare and jobs still hot-button issue

CBO report on Obamacare and jobs still hot-button issue

Republicans and Democrats jumped on the Congressional Budget Office report of the effects of the health law on employment. [More]

Researchers examine link between gender and genetic disorder

A genetic disorder that affects about 1 in every 2,500 births can cause a bewildering array of clinical problems, including brain tumors, impaired vision, learning disabilities, behavioral problems, heart defects and bone deformities. The symptoms and their severity vary among patients affected by this condition, known as neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). [More]

New cochlear implant requires no external hardware

Cochlear implants - medical devices that electrically stimulate the auditory nerve - have granted at least limited hearing to hundreds of thousands of people worldwide who otherwise would be totally deaf. [More]