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KHN First Edition: November 11, 2016


First Edition

Friday, November 11, 2016
Check Kaiser Health News online for the latest headlines

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

Kaiser Health News: Concerned About Losing Your Marketplace Plan? ACA Repeal May Take Awhile
Michelle Andrews writes: "President-elect Donald Trump has promised that he’ll ask Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act on Day One of his administration. If you’re shopping for coverage on the health insurance marketplace, should you even bother signing up? If everything’s going to change shortly after your new coverage starts in January anyway, what’s the point?" (Andrews, 11/10)

California Healthline: No Immediate Changes To Your Obamacare Coverage
Emily Bazar writes: "To the millions of Californians who obtained health insurance as a result of the Affordable Care Act, know this: Despite the election of Donald Trump, who has promised to repeal the health law, nothing is going to happen to your coverage immediately. In fact, open enrollment for Covered California plans continues through January 31 despite the election outcome." (Bazar, 11/11)

California Healthline: Momentum To Regulate Drug Prices Uncertain After Prop 61 Defeat, Republican Victories
Republican control of the White House and Congress erodes the possibility of federal action to control the price of prescription drugs, health policy experts say. Instead, policymaking to address the spiraling drug costs likely will be done on the state level. Yet the Election Day defeat of a California ballot measure to rein in drug prices may make local lawmakers less inclined to pursue that model of tamping down on drug prices, too. (Bartolone, 11/10)

The New York Times: No Affordable Care Act? Health Insurers Weren’t Expecting That
More than 100,000 Americans rushed to buy health insurance under the Affordable Care Act on Wednesday, the biggest turnout yet during this year’s sign-up period, the day after the election of Donald J. Trump, who has promised to repeal the law. The figure, announced by the Obama administration, added to a sense of whiplash about the law, and underscored the magnitude of any change. Despite all the criticisms about the law coming from President-elect Trump and his allies, millions of people now depend on it for coverage. (Abelson, 11/11)

Los Angeles Times: More People Signed Up For Obamacare The Day After Trump Was Elected Than Any Day This Enrollment Period
Underscoring the challenge President-elect  Donald Trump faces repealing the Affordable Care Act, more than 100,000 people signed up for health coverage through the law on Wednesday, the day after Trump’s election. The tally, reported Thursday by the Obama administration, marked the busiest day since the enrollment period for coverage in 2017 began Nov. 1. (Levey, 11/10)

The Wall Street Journal: Affordable Care Act Enrollment Surges Following Trump Election
“Is it people trying to get in before something happens? I don’t know but it’s possible,” said Brian Burton, an enrollment worker in Lafayette, La. Health analysts, insurance brokers, and the navigators who help people obtain coverage said some consumers fear Republicans will take away the tax subsidies that offset premium costs. Some also said people are asking if they can forgo enrolling because they believe the Trump administration will end a requirement that most individuals have health insurance or pay a penalty. (Armour, 11/10)

The New York Times: White House Says Obamacare Enrollment A Priority
Getting more Americans to enroll for health insurance under President Barack Obama's healthcare law known as Obamacare is a top priority of his administration until President-elect Donald Trump takes office on Jan. 20, the White House said on Thursday. "We would be focused on ... maximizing the opportunity that currently is available for millions of Americans to go to during the open enrollment period and sign up for healthcare," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told a news briefing. (Heavey and Hummer, 11/10)

The Associated Press: Behind The Smiles, Tough Reality For Trump And GOP Congress
The budding new alliance between Donald Trump and congressional Republicans hides a tougher reality: Even with unified GOP control of Washington, the president-elect's priorities may have trouble getting through Congress. ... Repealing President Barack Obama's health care law? That looks likely to happen in some way, shape or form, but a number of states that accepted that law's expansion of the Medicaid health program for the poor are represented by Republicans. It will take painstaking and potentially lengthy negotiations to come up with a solution. (11/11)

The Washington Post: 12 Trump Promises And How He Could Fulfill Them
Trump benefits from the fact that House and Senate Republican leaders share his goal. Congress probably can readily rescind parts of the ACA that involve federal spending, through a method called budget reconciliation — a strategy that produced a bill early this year that President Obama vetoed but Trump would sign. This method requires 50 Senate votes — one fewer than the GOP majority in the next Senate — and could be used to eliminate federal subsidies for ACA health plans, the requirement that most Americans have insurance, and other important elements. (Gibbons-Neff and Fears, 11/10)

The Associated Press: President-Elect Trump Means Angst For 'Obamacare' Consumers
Donald Trump's election ushers in a time of high anxiety for people with health insurance under President Barack Obama's law, which expanded coverage to millions but has struggled to find widespread public acceptance. While repeal now seems likely, that may take Congress months. A replacement for the 2010 health care law could take even longer, and may retain some of its features. (11/10)

NPR: Trump Election Emboldens Opponents Of Abortion
Amy Hagstrom Miller of Whole Women's Health had been having a banner year. Her organization, based in Charlottesville, Va., operates several abortion clinics around the country and brought a legal challenge that led the Supreme Court to issue a landmark ruling this past summer. The court struck down abortion restrictions in Texas, setting a precedent that abortion rights groups believe could help turn back a wave of restrictions passed by legislatures across the country in recent years. But now that Donald Trump is the president-elect? "I'm devastated," Miller says. "I feel stunned. I'm numb." (Ludden, 11/10)

The Washington Post: Women Consider Long-Term Birth Control Now That Trump Victory Looms Over Reproductive Health
As protesters burned a giant papier-mâché Trump head outside City Hall in Los Angeles and their East Coast counterparts torched an American flag in front of the Trump Tower in New York, America’s social media feeds lit up, too. Among those concerned were women who, worried about what the next four years could bode for reproductive health, pondered a lasting prophylactic measure. In the months before President-elect Donald Trump takes office, some advocates answered, consider long-term intrauterine devices or implanted contraceptive rods. (Guarino, 11/10)

NPR: Women Seek Birth Control That Will Outlast The Trump Presidency
Women across the country are rushing to get IUDs. Or at least, they're tweeting about rushing to get long-term birth control, according to a surge of messages on social media. They're concerned that the Trump administration might end Obamacare provisions that require insurers to cover intrauterine devices (IUDs) and other contraception, and cut funding for abortion and reproductive health overall. So women are looking for long-term solutions like IUDs: ones that will outlast a presidency. But they may have a bit more time than they think. (Ross, 11/11)

The Washington Post: At Suicide Hotlines, The First 24 Hours Of Trump’s America Have Been Full Of Fear
The outcome wasn’t certain, but in the 60 minutes that seemed to stretch for much longer between 1 and 2 a.m. Wednesday, while the swing states deciding our next president flipped between red and blue, the phone at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline rang 660 times. People were scared — for their rights, for their safety, for their children. They were thinking about taking their lives. (Mettler, 11/10)

The New York Times: Trump Wants To ‘Drain The Swamp,’ But Change Will Be Complex And Costly
Within the government’s health agencies, Mr. Trump’s campaign also proposed eliminating the Food and Drug Administration’s “food police,” which it said “dictate how the federal government expects farmers to produce fruits and vegetables and even dictates the nutritional content of dog food.” But the proposal was quickly taken down from the campaign’s website. The Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011, which strengthened the F.D.A.’s oversight of food, is popular among many Republicans as well as with food manufacturers, tarnished by massive food recalls. (Shear and Harris, 11/10)

The Wall Street Journal: Medicare Holds Premium Increase For High Earners To 10%
High earners will face a sharply lower increase in Medicare premiums next year than originally projected, as the agency overseeing the government health-care plan said Thursday that it would tap program reserves to ease the burden. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that the monthly premiums for one-third of Medicare beneficiaries will rise by 10% to $134 in 2017, up from $121.80 this year. The remaining 70% of beneficiaries will pay $109.00 in 2017, up from $104.90 this year for Medicare Part B, which covers doctor visits and other types of outpatient care. (Tergesen, 11/10)

The Associated Press: Medicare Premium To Rise Modestly For Most Beneficiaries
Medicare has announced the "Part B" premium for 2017, and for most beneficiaries it's a modest increase. Next year's tiny Social Security cost-of-living increase means that about 70 percent of Medicare recipients will be protected from rising medical costs. For this group, the average premium will be about $109 a month. (11/10)

The Associated Press: Still Fighting: Vietnam Vets Seek Help For Rare Cancer
Mike Baughman considered himself one of the lucky ones, returning from Vietnam without any major injuries or psychological scars. But after falling ill nearly a half-century later, he found out he did not escape the war after all. The 64-year-old is among hundreds of veterans who have been diagnosed with a rare bile duct cancer that may be linked to their time in the service and an unexpected source: parasites in raw or poorly cooked river fish. (McDowell and Mason, 11/11)

NPR: Smoking Declines As Cigarette Taxes Rise
The number of cigarette smokers in the United States has dropped by 8.6 million since 2005 — and that fall could be accelerated by a tobacco tax just passed in California. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says smoking rates have fallen from 21 percent of the adult population in 2005 to 15 percent in 2015, when the agency conducted its latest survey. The smoking rate fell by 1.7 percentage points between 2014 and 2015 alone — a substantial decline, according to a report Thursday in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. (Harris, 11/10)

The Washington Post: Michigan Must Deliver Bottled Water To Flint Residents, Judge Rules
A federal judge in Michigan has ordered state officials to offer bottled-water delivery to Flint residents who can’t easily pick up their own from distribution sites in the city. “A safe water supply has always been critical to civilization,” U.S. District Judge David M. Lawson wrote Thursday in his decision. “The Flint water crisis has in effect turned back the clock to a time when people traveled to central water sources to fill their buckets and carry the water home.” (Dennis, 11/10)

The New York Times: New Charges For 2 Flophouse Operators Accused In Medicaid Fraud Scheme
The New York State attorney general filed Medicaid fraud and money laundering charges on Thursday against a lawyer who runs two outpatient substance-abuse programs in New York City and a couple who ran flophouses that forced residents to seek help from those programs. Their arrangement was detailed in an investigation by The New York Times last year. (Barker, 11/10)

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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