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KHN First Edition: July 2, 2015


First Edition

Thursday, July 02, 2015
Check Kaiser Health News online for the latest headlines

Today's early morning highlights from the major news organizations.

NOTE TO READERS: KHN's First Edition will not be published tomorrow, Friday, July 3, in observance of the July 4 holiday. Look for First Edition again on Monday.

Kaiser Health News: Obama Asks GOP To Work With Him To Improve Health Care
Kaiser Health News staff writer Mary Agnes Carey reports: "President Barack Obama called on Republicans Wednesday to find a bipartisan way to fix problems in the nation’s health care system rather than continue to fight over the health law. 'Part of what I’m hoping is with the Supreme Court case now behind us what we can do is … focus on how we can make it even better because it’s not as if we’ve solved all the problems in our health care system,' Obama said in remarks at an elementary school in Nashville, Tenn. 'America still spends more on health care than any other advanced nation and our outcomes aren’t particularly better.'” (Carey, 7/1)

Kaiser Health News: Study Finds Doctors Order Fewer Preventive Services For Medicaid Patients
Kaiser Health News consumer columnist Michelle Andrews reports: "Gynecologists ordered fewer preventive services for women who were insured by Medicaid than for those with private coverage, a recent study found. The study by researchers at the Urban Institute examined how office-based primary care practices provided five recommended preventive services over a five-year period. The services were clinical breast exams, pelvic exams, mammograms, Pap tests and depression screening." (Andrews,7/2)

The New York Times: Obama Takes Health Care Momentum Into G.O.P. Territory
Days after the Supreme Court delivered a victory for his health care law for the second time, President Obama flew into mostly Republican territory on Wednesday and began an aggressive push to get states that have resisted parts of the law to expand care to more of their poor residents. (Harris and Goodnough, 7/1)

Los Angeles Times: Put Aside Politics And Improve Healthcare, Obama Says
President Obama, fresh from a victory before the U.S. Supreme Court last week that preserved the Affordable Care Act, called for an end to the political fighting over the health law and for more effort to improve it. “This is about people. This is not about politics, it's not about Washington,” Obama said at a town-hall-style meeting at a Nashville elementary school. (Levey, 7/1)

The Washington Post: Obama Takes Health-Care Victory Lap In Tennessee
The town hall meeting on health care came one week after the Supreme Court shot down a major challenge to the massive government program that would have denied health-care subsidies to millions of Americans participating in the program through a federal marketplace. News of the decision prompted hugs in the Oval Office. In Nashville, Obama touted the 166,000 Tennesseans — and 16 million people across the country — who have health care because of the Affordable Care Act. Health-care inflation has been trending down, the president said. (Jaffe, 7/1)

Reuters: Obama Pushes State Medicaid Expansion In Healthcare Hub Nashville
Fresh from another Supreme Court validation of his landmark healthcare law, President Barack Obama visited healthcare hub Nashville, Tennessee on Wednesday to push state governments to expand the Medicaid health program for the poor. Obamacare, as the president's law is known, envisions a major expansion of the program, but nearly half of all U.S. states, mostly Republican-controlled, have rejected that part of the law and opted out of a Medicaid expansion. (Edwards, 7/1)

The Associated Press: Obama: ‘Feeling Pretty Good’ About Health Care
Fresh off a Supreme Court victory, President Barack Obama said Wednesday that he’s “feeling pretty good” about the state of his health care law and pleaded for bipartisan cooperation on ways to make it work even better. Obama said he wants to refocus the debate on improving health care quality, expanding access and eliminating waste now that the high court has upheld a key element of the Affordable Care Act. (Superville, 7/1)

The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire: Davy Crockett Presses Obama On Health Care
For a brief time on Wednesday, Davy Crockett became the face of President Barack Obama’s push to get more states to expand Medicaid. Mr. Crockett, who described himself as a fifth-generation great-grandson of Davy Crockett, the American folk hero, attended the president’s speech in Nashville, Tenn., and got the opportunity to ask a question. He expressed frustration about denials of his application for Social Security benefits. Mr. Obama promised to look into it. (Armour, 7/1)

The Washington Post: Poll: 62 Percent Of Public Supports Supreme Court Ruling On Obamacare
Twice as many Americans support the Supreme Court’s decision last week to uphold a key provision of the health-care law as are opposed, according to a poll released Wednesday. When told that the court ruled to allow Americans to continue receiving subsidies to afford health insurance in all states, about 6 in 10 surveyed said they approve of the decision while about one-third disapprove, according to the latest tracking poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation. (Sun, 7/1)

The Associated Press: Poll: Approval For Supreme Court Health Care Decision
A new poll finds that most Americans approve of the recent Supreme Court decision preserving the health care law's subsidized insurance premiums for people in all 50 states. Overall, 62 percent approved, while 32 percent disapproved, said the survey released Wednesday by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. (7/1)

USA Today: Liberal Unity, Conservative Disarray Led Supreme Court To The Left
It may have been fitting that the two marquee decisions — declaring a constitutional right to same-sex marriage and saving the Affordable Care Act from a potentially fatal challenge — came last week. That meant the court's liberal wing didn't lose a major case until Monday, the last day of the term. (Wolf, 7/1)

The Associated Press: Medicare Proposes Coverage Change On Short Hospital Stays
Medicare proposed Wednesday to ease a coverage policy on short hospital stays that has been criticized because it can result in higher costs for seniors. Under Medicare, coverage for inpatient and outpatient care is determined under very different payment rules. In some cases, a hospital admission classified as inpatient can result in lower bills for beneficiaries. (Alonso-Zaldivar, 7/1)

The Wall Street Journal: New Data Could Affect Health-Insurer Deals
The federal government’s release of new data on health-insurer payments under the Affordable Care Act is roiling the industry, including potentially affecting the timing of any deal for Humana Inc., as suitors pore over the detailed information disclosed late Tuesday. (Wilde Mathews and Mattioli, 7/1)

The Wall Street Journal's Bankruptcy Beat: The Future Of Personal Bankruptcy In A Post-Obamacare World
In his 2014 study, Northeastern University law professor Daniel Austin dug into personal bankruptcy filings to figure out what happened after Massachusetts lawmakers made health insurance mandatory in 2005. His findings? Massachusetts residents who file for bankruptcy protection these days have way less medical debt compared to the rest of the country. The typical Massachusetts person or couple who filed in 2013 had $3,041 in medical debt, while people everywhere else had an average of $8,594 in medical debt. (Stech, 7/1)

NPR/ProPublica: Industry Payments To Doctors Are Ingrained, Federal Data Show
Few days went by last year when New Hampshire nephrologist Ana Stankovic didn't receive a payment from a drug company. All told, 29 different pharmaceutical companies paid her $594,363 in 2014, mostly for promotional speaking and consulting, but also for travel expenses and meals, according to data released Tuesday detailing payments by drug and device companies to U.S. doctors and teaching hospitals. (Ornstein and Grochowski Jones, 7/1)

The Washington Post: Drones To Deliver Medicine To Rural Virginia Field Hospital
The sprawling field hospital that springs up in rural southwest Virginia every summer has been called the largest health-care outreach operation of its kind. This year, the event will host another first. Unmanned aerial vehicles — drones — will deliver medicine to the Wise County Fairgrounds in part to study how the emerging technology could be used in humanitarian crises around the world. (Portnoy, 7/1)

Los Angeles Times: Jim Carrey Calls Gov. Brown A 'fascist' For Signing New Vaccination Law
Jim Carrey has come out swinging against Gov. Jerry Brown for signing one of the nation’s toughest vaccination laws this week, barring religious and other personal-belief exemptions for schoolchildren. The Golden Globe-winning actor slammed Brown on Twitter, calling him a “corporate fascist” who was poisoning children by signing into law the vaccination requirements. (Rocha, 7/1)

Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent operating program of the Kaiser Family Foundation. (c) 2014 Kaiser Health News. All rights reserved.

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