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KHN First Edition: October 10, 2016


First Edition

Monday, October 10, 2016
Check Kaiser Health News online for the latest headlines

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

Kaiser Health News: Many Localities Find Past Ambivalence On Mosquitos Hinders Zika Response
Emily Kopp reports: "As Zika skipped into Puerto Rico and then Florida this summer and threatened to spread northward, an uncoordinated patchwork of mosquito control offices — funded by state health departments, county governments and special tax districts — stretched their budgets in the campaign to track and eradicate mosquito breeding grounds. Though the populations of the two species of mosquito that transmit the Zika virus will thin out in the U.S. by mid-October in colder weather, according to tropical disease experts, they will likely return with a vengeance next year. And, while this year’s crisis may be nearing its end, officials in the states that will form the first ring of protection to limit the disease’s future spread remain worried and underprepared." (Kopp, 10/10)

California Healthline: In For A Shock: Exchange Customers Get Glimpse Of Painful Rate Hikes
Emily Bazar reports: "Covered California’s big 2017 rate hikes are starting to hit home for consumers. The state health insurance exchange began mailing notices to its 1.3 million customers on Wednesday, alerting them that they can determine exactly how much the premiums for their current plans will rise in 2017, and begin shopping around for cheaper options." (Bazar, 10/7)

The New York Times: Mylan To Settle EpiPen Overpricing Case For $465 Million
Mylan, the maker of the allergy treatment EpiPen, said Friday that it had reached a $465 million settlement with the Justice Department and other government agencies over questions on whether the company had overcharged Medicaid for the treatment by improperly classifying it as a generic drug. The federal government said this week that Mylan had been told multiple times that it was wrongly classifying the EpiPen, which led the Medicaid and Medicare programs to overpay for the product. (Thomas, 10/7)

NPR: EpiPen-Maker Mylan Settles For $465 Million In Medicaid Dispute
Drugmaker Mylan N.V. announced Friday that it had reached a $465 million settlement with the U.S. Justice Department and other government agencies to resolve questions over rebates required by the Medicaid program. The deal settles allegations by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that Mylan had misclassified the EpiPen as a generic drug and had not paid the appropriate rebates that are required by law. (Kodjak, 10/7)

Los Angeles Times: No, Bill Clinton Didn't 'Torch' Obamacare. Here's What He Was Really Talking About
Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed over the past week that Bill Clinton “torched” the Affordable Care Act when the former president brought up the health law during a campaign rally for Hillary Clinton in Michigan on Monday. Trump was asked about his comments again again during Sunday’s debate. His claims are, at best, misleading. The former president did note that some people are still struggling to afford healthcare, despite the 2010 law, often called Obamacare. (Levey, 10/9)

The Associated Press: Fact Check: Trump Wrong On Clinton And Health Care
It's Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders — not Clinton — who supports a Canada-style government-run health care system. While Clinton's health care proposals would expand the government's role in the health care system, she's not talking about dismantling the current system, which is a hybrid of employer-sponsored coverage, government programs like Medicare and Medicaid, and individually purchased insurance. (10/9)

The Associated Press: Fact Check: Clinton Correct On Repeal Of Health Care
Congressional Republicans have promised their replacement plan for Obama's health care law would provide coverage for the uninsured, but they have not provided enough detail to allow a rigorous comparison. A complete repeal of the health care law would wipe the slate clean, and lawmakers would have to start over. (10/9)

The New York Times: Can’t Find A Plan On HealthCare.Gov? One May Be Picked For You.
The federal government will choose health plans for hundreds of thousands of consumers whose insurers have left the Affordable Care Act marketplace unless those people opt out of the law’s exchanges or select plans on their own, under a new policy to make sure consumers maintain coverage in 2017. “Urgent: Your health coverage is at risk,” declares a sample “discontinuation notice,” drafted by the government for use by insurers. It tells consumers that “if you don’t enroll in a plan on your own, you may be automatically enrolled in the plan picked for you.” (Pear, 10/8)

The New York Times: How U.S. Torture Left A Legacy Of Damaged Minds
Before the United States permitted a terrifying way of interrogating prisoners, government lawyers and intelligence officials assured themselves of one crucial outcome. They knew that the methods inflicted on terrorism suspects would be painful, shocking and far beyond what the country had ever accepted. But none of it, they concluded, would cause long lasting psychological harm. Fifteen years later, it is clear they were wrong. (Apuzzo, Fink and Risen, 10/09)

The Wall Street Journal: Insulin Prices Soar While Drugmakers’ Share Stays Flat
Insulin prices are soaring, creating pain for patients whose lives depend on the injectable drug—yet most of the revenue from the increases isn’t going to the drug manufacturers. It is largely the middlemen that benefit. The major manufacturers of insulin— Eli Lilly & Co. of Indianapolis, Novo Nordisk A/S of Denmark and Sanofi SA of France—are collecting about the same or less than they did several years ago. (Roland and Loftus, 10/7)

The Washington Post: Big Soda Sponsored 96 Health Groups — A Big Conflict Of Interest, Study Says
Nearly 100 national health and medical groups — including the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — enjoy sponsorships by Coca-Cola Co. or PepsiCo, according to a new study by two Boston University researchers. The report lands as the sugar industry’s supersized role in shaping — and spinning — health policy has come under increasing scrutiny. It also comes as the negative health effects of sugar and sugary drinks, including a link to rising obesity rates, are better understood. (Lauerman, 10/10)

Los Angeles Times: Massive L.A. Coroner Backlog Comes At A Price For Loved Ones Of Those Lost
It was a sweltering day in Pomona in August 2015 when Katie Dix collapsed during a rave at the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds. She went into cardiac arrest and died at a nearby hospital. Dix’s family expected that an autopsy and lab tests would take a few weeks, but as months went by they grew frustrated and angry. Her relatives would call repeatedly, only to be told: “Next month.” “It was excruciating for her parents,” said Lee Sherman, the family’s attorney. “It is horrible enough to deal with your child’s death — the reports, the speculation. They just wanted answers.” (Winton and Sewell, 10/9)

NPR: Untangling Birth Control, Hormones And Depression
When the birth control pill debuted more than 50 years ago, women wanted to know: Is it safe? There wasn't much evidence to answer that question, but women embraced the Pill as a revolutionary improvement in contraception. Today, millions of women around the world use hormonal contraceptives that have expanded beyond the Pill to patches, implants, injections and uterine devices. Decades of research support their safety, and serious but very rare side effects such as blood clots are finally much better understood. But other areas of research lag, and we still don't know as much as we'd like about how these medications affect women's mental health. (Haelle, 10/9)

Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent operating program of the Kaiser Family Foundation. (c) 2016 Kaiser Health News. All rights reserved.

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