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From Kaiser Health News:

Kaiser Health News Original Stories

4. Political Cartoon: 'Self-Defeating'

Kaiser Health News provides a fresh take on health policy developments with "Political Cartoon: 'Self-Defeating'" by Marty Bucella.

Here's today's health policy haiku:


Docs-in-training learn
about the health system. Wow!
That's tough medicine.

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Summaries Of The News:

Administration News

5. Why HIPAA Waiver Wasn't Needed After Orlando Shooting

The law, intended to protect patients' privacy, grants providers latitude in some circumstances to disclose certain information based on judgment, reason and compassion. Meanwhile, the proximity of the massacre to a Level 1 trauma center may have saved lives, a medical journal editor makes a push for more research on gun violence and experts speak about why it's dangerous to oversimplify mental illness in relation to mass shootings.

Orlando Sentinel: Proximity To A Level 1 Trauma Center Helped Saved Lives, Doctors Say
Location was everything when it came to treating the victims from the Pulse nightclub mass shooting. "I think in trying to search for saving graces and silver linings, the fact that this tragedy happened within two blocks of one of the country's top Level 1 trauma centers was such an advantage," said Dr. George Ralls, director of health and public safety at Orange County Government, referring to Orlando Regional Medical Center. By Monday afternoon, 29 shooting victims remained at (Orlando Regional Medical Center), five of them in grave condition. Surgeons had performed more than 30 operations. (Miller, 6/13)

Columbus Dispatch: Mental-Illness Tag Not So Simple To Explain Shootings
The ex-wife of the man who shot up an Orlando gay club early Sunday quickly told reporters that he was bipolar and that “he was mentally unstable and mentally ill.” She and the imam of the Islamic center that the shooter attended both attributed the violence to mental illness. But mental-health experts say such acts rarely carry such tidy explanations. (Kurtzman, 6/14)

6. Democrats Rail Against 'Moral Bankruptcy Of The Blood Ban,' Call For Change In Guidelines

In the aftermath of the Orlando massacre, pressure is mounting against the Food and Drug Administration's regulations on gay men donating blood.

The Hill: Dems Call For End Of Blood Donation Ban From Gay Men
Democrats in Congress are reviving a national push to allow gay men to donate blood following the deadly mass shooting that targeted a gay nightclub in Orlando. ... The FDA policy — which has been condemned by the American Medical Association — has sparked national outrage that advocates now hope to convert into long-awaited action. The LGBT Equality Caucus, led by Reps. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) and Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), is giving new life to the years-old campaign for the FDA to repeal its blood donation ban. (Ferris, 6/13)

Bloomberg: Why Gay Men Still Can't Donate Blood
In the aftermath of the shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando that killed 49 people and injured 53, blood centers were overwhelmed with individuals who wanted to donate. Gay men, however, weren't all allowed to do so—a policy harking back to the height of the AIDS crisis, and one that was quickly derided as discriminatory and an insult to a community under attack. (Tozzi, 6/13)

7. Millions In Federal Funds Awarded To State Groups To Cover Uninsured Children

Nonprofits and community groups in states such as Texas, Pennsylvania and Maryland receive money from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in order to increase insurance coverage for low-income kids.

Houston Chronicle: 5 Texas Groups Get Millions To Enroll Uninsured Kids
Five nonprofit organizations and community groups in Texas, including three in the Houston area, have been awarded a combined $4.78 million by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to boost efforts to enroll the state's nearly three-quarters of a million uninsured children, the federal agency announced on Monday. (Dean, 6/13)

8. U.S., Cuba Form Partnership To Collaborate On Matters Of Public Health, Biomedical Research

The two countries will work together on issues such as dengue fever, Zika, drug development and medical training.

Stat: Obama Administration Signs Historic Health Agreement With Cuba
The US Department of Health and Human Services and the Cuban government on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding to encourage cooperation between the two countries on health matters, another step in the Obama administration’s efforts to normalize America’s diplomatic relations toward its island neighbor. The long-estranged countries will work together on global health issues, including infectious diseases like dengue fever, and the medical challenges that come with aging populations, the department announced. (Scott, 6/13)

Health Law Issues And Implementation

9. Study: 24 Million Fewer People Would Have Insurance If Health Law Were Repealed

The study also found that the government's spending on health would decrease by $927 billion over 10 years, but, even so, the Congressional Budget Office says the deficit would actually increase if the law were repealed. Meanwhile, consumer advocates are frustrated that Illinois doesn't require insurers to make their premium hikes public until Aug. 1.

The Hill: Study: Repealing ObamaCare Would Increase Uninsured By 24M
If ObamaCare were repealed, 24 million fewer people would have health insurance in 2021, according to a new study. The study from the Urban Institute finds that 14.5 million fewer people would have coverage through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program and 8.8 million fewer people would have individual private coverage like that offered on the health law’s marketplaces. Another 700,000 fewer people would have health insurance through their jobs. (Sullivan 6/13)

Chicago Tribune: Unlike Other States, Illinois Keeps Potential Obamacare Premium Hikes Secret
More than half of the states have disclosed just how much higher their health care premiums could be next year under the Affordable Care Act, and some of the potential increases are jaw-dropping. But Illinois residents won't get their first look at proposed 2017 premiums until Aug. 1, and that has consumer advocates frustrated. (Sachdev, 6/13)<

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