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In This Edition:

From Kaiser Health News:

Kaiser Health News Original Stories

7. Political Cartoon: 'But I'm Not Laughing'

Kaiser Health News provides a fresh take on health policy developments with "Political Cartoon: 'But I'm Not Laughing'" by Steve Kelley and Jeff Parker, from 'Dustin'.

Here's today's health policy haiku:

SHOULD AMERICANS BE SCREENED FOR SKIN CANCER?

Good evidence is
Hard to find, U.S. task force
Says. Doctors protest.

If you have a health policy haiku to share, please Contact Us and let us know if you want us to include your name. Keep in mind that we give extra points if you link back to a KHN original story.

Summaries Of The News:

Campaign 2016

8. How A Democrat Who's Against Abortion Became Clinton's VP Pick

Tim Kaine's personal beliefs on abortion are in contrast with Hillary Clinton's and the Democratic platform. But it's his actions that have assuaged any fears from abortion rights groups. “He’s been not only a solid vote but really an ally," Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards says.

The Washington Post: Why Tim Kaine Can Oppose Abortion And Still Run With Hillary Clinton
Eleven years ago, as he ran for governor of Virginia, Tim Kaine made clear his stance on abortion: “I have a faith-based opposition,” he wrote on his campaign’s website. “I will work in good faith to reduce abortions.” Kaine went on to laud adoption as the best solution to an unwanted pregnancy. He promoted abstinence-only sex education (and later slashed funding to the program, citing research that found it wasn’t effective). He authorized the sale of “Choose Life” license plates to fund religious counseling clinics that discouraged abortion. He backed Virginia’s “informed consent” law, which requires women seeking the procedure to undergo medically unnecessary ultrasounds. In short, he was conservative on reproductive issues, by his party's standards. (Paquette, 7/26)

Bloomberg: After VP Selection, Kaine Endorses Repeal Of Hyde Amendment On Abortion
Democratic vice presidential pick Tim Kaine has privately told nominee Hillary Clinton he will support repeal of the Hyde Amendment, a 1976 provision that bans the use of federal dollars for abortion services, Clinton spokesman Jesse Ferguson and Kaine spokeswoman Amy Dudley said Tuesday. The position is a reversal for Kaine, who earlier this month told The Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine, that he's "traditionally been a supporter of the Hyde amendment." (Kapur, 7/26)

Bloomberg: Kaine Brings Record Of ACA Support To Ticket
The selection of Sen. Tim Kaine as Hillary Clinton's running mate gives Clinton a reliable liberal partner who complements her experience in health-care policy. Unlike the choice of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as Republican candidate Donald Trump's running mate, experts say Kaine doesn't add as much to the Democratic ticket from a health policy perspective, because Clinton herself has an extensive record. (Weixel, 7/26)

Kaiser Health News: Clinton Veep Pick Tim Kaine Bolstered Mental Health System After Va. Tech Shooting
Tim Kaine is in Hillary Clinton’s camp — and his party’s — on the big health care issues, with a defining moment in his tenure as governor coming in 2007 after the mass shooting at Virginia Tech. His response to the shooting was a $42 million legislative package to reform the state’s mental health system. As a U.S. senator who was elected in 2012, he’s backed the Affordable Care Act and has pushed for expanded Medicaid eligibility in his state and others. A Catholic, he’s said he opposes abortion personally, but supports a woman’s right to choose for herself. (Bluth, 7/27)

In other news, both the Democratic and Republican conventions spotlight the opioid epidemic and a look at where both parties stand on health care and abortion —

The Washington Post: The Nation’s Opioid Crisis Garners Attention At Party Conventions
The nation’s epidemic of opioid abuse, which has killed thousands of people over the past decade through powerful prescription painkillers and heroin, has taken on a prominent role at the Democratic National Convention — a sign of the issue’s growing importance in both parties. On Monday night, a woman whose daughter has struggled with addiction gave a prime-time speech, followed by the former governor of New Hampshire, where more than 400 people died of drug overdoses last year. Then, on Tuesday afternoon, people packed into a Quaker conference center in Philadelphia to hear delegates, elected officials and others talk about recovering from substance abuse and what needs to be done to combat it. A similar forum was held at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last week. Both conventions featured a recovery and wellness room for those suffering from addiction. (Zezima, 7/26)

The Wall Street Journal: Guns, China, Abortion: How The Democratic Platform Has Changed
The Democratic platform bears some of the hallmarks of the drive to the left that Sen. Bernie Sanders led this year on economic policy. And on social issues, the party has abandoned many of the views it held in the late 1980s and early 1990s. We compare and contrast highlights in this year’s Democratic platform with those of recent decades on the following issues: guns, drugs, abortion, China, trade, gay marriage, higher education and health care. (Rubin, 7/26)

Health Law Issues And Implementation

9. Bucking The Current Trend, Cigna Decides To Expand Into ACA Markets

In other health law news, Iowa's largest insurer says its accountable care organization contracts have saved $35 million in costs last year, a study finds that Covered California policyholders are being rejected by doctors and the court case that could spell trouble for insurers.

The Hill: Insurer Cigna Expanding ObamaCare Presence
The insurer Cigna is expanding into a few new ObamaCare markets, a countervailing force to some recent high profile exits by insurers. Cigna, one of the nation’s largest health insurers, said Tuesday that it has filed to offer insurance on the ObamaCare marketplaces next year in Chicago, the Raleigh/Durham area of North Carolina, as well as Northern Virginia and Richmond. (Sullivan, 7/26)