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Apr 11, 2019

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a presidential candidate, unveiled the 2019 version of his “Medicare-for-all” bill this week. But even more than two decades after first proposing a single-payer plan for the U.S., Sanders still has not proposed a way to finance such a major undertaking.

Congress continued to pursue its examination of high prescription drug prices this week by calling to testify both...

Apr 11, 2019

This story also ran on NPR.
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As Democratic presidential primary candidates try to walk a political tightrope between the party’s progressive and center-left wings, they face increasing pressure to outline the details of their health reform proposals.

On Wednesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) reaffirmed his stance by reintroducing a “Medicare-for-all” bill, the idea that...

Apr 05, 2019
The Friday Breeze

Newsletter editor Brianna Labuskes, who reads everything on health care to compile our daily Morning Briefing, offers the best and most provocative stories for the weekend.

Happy Friday! The question for the day is: If there were a drug that would turbocharge your brain, would you take it? I’ve seen enough sci-fi movies to make me, uh, less than enthused about the idea, but as my second cup of coffee of the day has yet...

Mar 29, 2019

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Less than 48 hours after a federal judge struck down Medicaid work requirements, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Friday gave Utah permission to use those mandates.

CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in her approval letter that requiring Medicaid enrollees to work was allowed because it helps make them healthier.

“Therefore we believe an objective of the...

Mar 29, 2019
The Friday Breeze

Newsletter editor Brianna Labuskes, who reads everything on health care to compile our daily Morning Briefing, offers the best and most provocative stories for the weekend.

Happy Friday and happy spring! A huge thanks to KHN Executive Editor Damon Darlin for stepping in last week as yours truly did a bit of sightseeing in the Windy City. (I now have some very shallow but gruesome trivia about Chicago’s gangster history...

Mar 29, 2019

This story also ran on NPR.
This story can be republished for free (details).

Three times a week, Tod Gervich injects himself with Copaxone, a prescription drug that can reduce the frequency of relapses in people who have some forms of multiple sclerosis. After more than 20 years with the disease, Gervich, 66, is

Unlike commercial plans that cap members’ out-of-pocket drug spending annually, Medicare has no limit for...

Mar 28, 2019

A federal district court judge in Washington, D.C., has blocked work requirements for Medicaid recipients in Arkansas and Kentucky. Since the Arkansas program took effect in 2018, more than 18,000 people have lost health coverage because they failed to report their work hours to the state.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration changed its position in a lawsuit filed by...

Mar 27, 2019

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For a second time in nine months, the same federal judge has struck down the Trump administration’s plan to force some Medicaid recipients to work to maintain benefits.

The ruling Wednesday by U.S. District Judge James Boasberg blocks Kentucky from implementing the work requirements and Arkansas from continuing is program. More than 18,000 Arkansas enrollees have lost Medicaid...

Mar 27, 2019

This story also ran on NPR.
This story can be republished for free (details).

The Medicaid expansion promoted by the Affordable Care Act was a boon for St. Mary’s Medical Center, the largest hospital in western Colorado. Since 2014, the number of uninsured patients it served dropped by more than half, saving the nonprofit hospital more than $3 million a year.

But the Grand Junction hospital’s prices did not go down.

...
Mar 26, 2019

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In a dramatic move that will have implications for the coming 2020 election, the Trump administration Monday night reversed its previous position and asked a federal appeals court to strike down the entire the Affordable Care Act.

The Justice Department said it now agrees with the plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging the law — a group of Republican attorneys general and governors...

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