The New York Times: Unpopularity Of The House Could Turn Senate Races
Republicans start this election year with the strongest hand they have had since 2010: a Democratic president with weak approval ratings, an economy still struggling to spread the benefits of a slow recovery, the disastrous rollout of President Obama's health care law, contested races for six Democratically held Senate seats in states carried by Mitt Romney, and the historical pattern that the party controlling the White House loses seats in a second midterm. But to take control of the Senate, Republicans need to net six seats, and they will probably need to do it with candidates currently serving in House seats in Montana, Louisiana, Arkansas, West Virginia and Georgia (Weisman, 1/29).
The Associated Press/Wall Street Journal: NY Insurer Agrees To Reinstate Offspring Coverage
A New York insurer has agreed to reinstate health coverage for up to 8,300 young adults who were dropped from their parents' policies before they turned 30. Under an agreement with the state attorney general, EmblemHealth Inc. also said it will pay approximately 175 claims for about $90,000 for unreimbursed medical treatment. While federal law authorizes keeping children on their parents' health insurance until they turn 26, New York requires insurers to offer that continuing coverage until age 30. The agreement signed this week also requires EmblemHealth to pay the attorney general $100,000 as a civil penalty (1/29).
The New York Times: New York State Recommends Expanding License Of Health Agency With Checkered Past
It was a medical scheme that shocked the public conscience when it came to light in 2001: Two dozen mentally ill residents of a Queens adult home were forced to have unnecessary prostate surgery that generated tens of thousands of dollars in government fees (Bernstein, 1/29).
The Washington Post: San Francisco Thinks Obamacare Can Cut Costs, Crime Rates
Across the country, an estimated 90 percent of those in county jails don't have health insurance. About the same number would qualify for subsidized health-care coverage under the Affordable Care Act. And those prisoners are more susceptible to chronic illnesses that, without treatment once they are freed, cost millions in emergency room visits. Now, the San Francisco Sheriff's Department thinks it can help cut costs -; and reduce recidivism rates -; by signing up many of the 31,000 people it books in jail every year for coverage under Obamacare (Wilson, 1/29).
The Washington Post: Virginia House Panel Backs Proposal On Finding Psychiatric Beds
In Virginia, a proposal to give mental health workers more time to find beds for people who need immediate psychiatric care cleared a House subcommittee Wednesday, as lawmakers move swiftly to respond to an attack on Sen. R. Creigh Deeds by his son. A House Courts of Justice subcommittee cleared several proposals, including one to extend the current time limit of six hours to find psychiatric beds for individuals in crisis by two hours, and if a bed cannot be found by that deadline, to require state facilities to provide a bed of last resort (Shin, 1/29).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.