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KHN First Edition: November 18, 2016

KHN

First Edition

Friday, November 18, 2016
Check Kaiser Health News online for the latest headlines

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

Kaiser Health News: Study Finds Nearby Retail Clinics Don’t Drive Down ER Visits
Michelle Andrews reports: "Even if there’s a retail health clinic less than a 10-minute drive away, consumers are just as likely to go to the emergency department for low-level problems like bronchitis or urinary tract infections, a recent study found. “Our results aren’t necessarily the wooden stake in the heart of retail clinics,” said Grant Martsolf, a policy researcher at the Rand Corp. and the lead author of the study, which appeared online this month in the Annals of Emergency Medicine." (Andrews, 11/18)

California Healthline: Blue Shield, California’s Biggest Obamacare Insurer, Vows It’s Not ‘Running For The Hills’
Chad Terhune reports: "The chief executive of Blue Shield of California, the largest insurer on the state-run marketplace, says he’s committed to selling coverage there even as Republicans pursue a repeal of the federal health law. In an interview this week with California Healthline, Paul Markovich also criticized President-elect Donald Trump’s support for the sale of insurance plans across state lines in order to boost competition and consumer choice." (Terhune, 11/17)

Kaiser Health News: Could Legalizing Pot Diminish California’s Gains Against Smoking?
Anna Gorman reports: "California’s decision to legalize marijuana was touted as a victory for those who had argued that the state needed a system to decriminalize, regulate and tax it. But the new law, approved by voters on Nov. 8, also could be a boon to the tobacco industry at a time when cigarette smoking is down and cigarette companies are looking for ways to expand their market, according to researchers in Los Angeles County and around the state." (Gorman, 11/18)

Reuters: Americans Want Trump To Focus On Healthcare First: Poll
Healthcare is the top issue Americans want Donald Trump to address during his first 100 days in the White House, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Thursday, an apparent rebuke of outgoing President Barack Obama's signature reform, Obamacare. Some 21 percent of Americans want Trump to focus on the healthcare system when he enters the White House on Jan. 20, according to the Nov. 9-14 poll, conducted in the week after the Republican won the U.S. presidential election. (Khan, 11/17)

The Washington Post: The Ultimate Q&A About Health Care Under A Trump Presidency
While it's pretty much a given that the Affordable Care Act won't survive a Trump presidency and Republican Congress in its current form, there are sweeping implications of reversing a law that has reached in so many ways into our health care system. The government has never undone a major benefits program after it has taken effect — and neither the incoming administration nor GOP lawmakers know exactly how they'll replace it. (Cha and Goldstein, 11/17)

The New York Times: Former Valeant And Philidor Executives Charged In Kickback Scheme
A secret relationship had made the two men rich: one, the head of a mail-order pharmacy, the other, an executive at a major pharmaceutical company who had promised to funnel millions of dollars to his partner in exchange for receiving millions of his own.They celebrated over email like characters in a classic western movie — with one saying that they would soon “ride into the sunset” together. (Thomas and Goldstein, 11/17)

The Wall Street Journal: U.S. Attorney Charges Former Valeant, Philidor Executives, Alleging Fraud And Kickback Scheme
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. for a year has weathered a scandal over its relationship with a mail-order pharmacy that critics say helped it secure lofty prices for its drugs. Now prosecutors say they have uncovered another troubling connection between the two companies. They alleged Thursday that two men—one from each company—enriched each other through a multimillion-dollar fraud and kickback scheme by directing more business and money to the pharmacy, Philidor Rx Services LLC. (McNish, Steele and Matthews, 11/17)

The Washington Post: Life And Death In The United States, In Two Maps
The latest news about preventable deaths in the United States has some encouraging data and one sobering statistic. On the good-news front, fewer people are dying prematurely from three of the five leading causes of death between 2010 and 2014: cancer, stroke and heart disease. But there was a significant increase in preventable deaths from unintentional injuries, mostly because deaths from opioid overdoses are increasing. (Sun, 11/17)

Los Angeles Times: In America, The Rich Outlive The Poor By Up To 9.5 Years, Study Says
The United States is one of the richest countries in the world, but it would look dramatically different if its 50 states were organized according to income instead of geography. If that were the case, residents of the poorest state in the union would have a median household income that’s just above the federal poverty line for a family of four. They would also expect to live shorter lives than people in more than half of the world's countries. (Kaplan, 11/17)

The Associated Press: Michigan May Require Lead Screening Of All Young Children
Michigan, where a man-made water crisis is roiling one of its biggest cities, will consider requiring all infants and toddlers to be tested for lead poisoning as part of an initiative to eradicate children's exposure to the neurotoxin statewide. The recommendation is among many unveiled Thursday by a state board that Gov. Rick Snyder tasked with proposing a strategy to protect children from all sources of lead poisoning. (11/17)

The Washington Post: Scientists Catalogue The Yucky Stuff On New York City ATMs
Bacteria found on human skin. Microbes from bony fish, mollusks, chicken and baked goods. These are part of the long list of life-forms that live on the surfaces of ATM keypads in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn, according to a new analysis. The study was published in the American Society for Microbiology's open access journal mSphere. It is one of a number of fascinating research projects in recent years to catalogue and understand the microbes that live among, on or inside us and how they impact human health. (Cha, 11/17)

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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