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KHN First Edition: November 16, 2016


First Edition

Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Check Kaiser Health News online for the latest headlines

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

Kaiser Health News: As Non-Medical Vaccine Exemptions Grow, Texas Parents Seek Transparency In Schools
Anna Casey reports: "Georgia Moore was diagnosed with leukemia the day after her 10th birthday. The fourth-grader began an intense chemotherapy regimen, which left her immune system vulnerable and kept her from attending her small, private Montessori school here. But her younger sister Ivy was in kindergarten at the same school, where a handful of families opted out of vaccinating their children. That meant 6-year-old Ivy might bring home germs that could pose a risk to Georgia." (Casey, 11/16)

Kaiser Health News: Podcast: The GOP’s Path To ‘Repeal And Replace’ May Not Be So Easy
Starting in January, Republicans will control the white house and both chambers of Congress. After promising to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, president-elect Donald Trump has said he’d now like to keep some elements of the law. Republicans who have voted for years to repeal the law now have their chance to enact a replacement. Medicare and Medicaid might also see major changes under a GOP-controlled White House and Congress. (11/16)

The Wall Street Journal: On Republicans’ Path To Health-Law Repeal, Questions Emerge
Ascendant Republicans who have put a repeal of the Affordable Care Act at the top of their to-do list face a set of early, key decisions that will test the party’s consensus on the issue. Among them: How much of the 2010 health law to strike early on, how soon and how closely to work with Democrats in shaping a replacement, and how much leeway to give consumers who might be caught without coverage in between a repeal and a new law. Lawmakers who weren’t necessarily expecting Donald Trump to win the presidency now see they can move ahead more boldly on the health law than they anticipated. (Radnofsky and Armour, 11/15)

The Associated Press: Trump's Path On Health Care Law Intersects With A Lawsuit
President-elect Donald Trump says he wants to preserve health insurance coverage even as he pursues repeal of the Obama-era overhaul that provided it to millions of uninsured people. How his administration handles a pending lawsuit over billions of dollars in insurance subsidies will reveal whether Trump wants an orderly transition to a Republican-designed system or if he'd push "Obamacare" over a cliff. Stripping away the subsidies at issue in the case would put the program into a free-fall. (11/16)

The New York Times: Expect Medicaid To Change, But Not Shrivel, Under Donald Trump
The expansion of Medicaid, a central pillar of the Affordable Care Act, faces immense uncertainty next year, with President-elect Donald J. Trump and top Republicans in Congress embracing proposals that could leave millions of poorer Americans without health insurance and jeopardize a major element of President Obama’s legacy. But influential figures in surprising quarters of the new administration might balk at a broad rollback of Medicaid’s reach, favoring new conditions for access to the government insurance program for the poor but not wholesale cutbacks. (Pear, 11/15)

Los Angeles Times: Trump Used To Rail Against Drug Prices. Now The Industry's Allies Are Helping Shape His Agenda
Donald Trump and his congressional allies are making big plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act and overhaul other government health programs. But the president-elect appears to have downgraded plans to act aggressively to control rising drug prices, handing the pharmaceutical industry an early victory and providing another illustration of the influence of lobbyists on the new Trump administration, despite Trump’s promise to “drain the swamp” of special interests in Washington. (Levey, 11/15)

The Washington Post: What Abortion Could Look Like In America Under Donald Trump
If Donald Trump’s Supreme Court of the future moves to overturn Roe v. Wade, access to legal abortion in the United States wouldn’t vanish. But it would likely become staggeringly unequal — an option only for women who happen to live in a liberal state or have the money to travel to one. For a glimpse of this possible fate, look to the recent past. In 1970, New York became the first state to allow any woman to end a pregnancy without proving she’d been raped or that her health would fail if gestation continued. “Women flocked there,” said Katha Pollitt, author of Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights. “But low-income women, disproportionately women of color, were trapped in anti-abortion states.” (Paquette and Soffen, 11/15)

Reuters: Thousands Donate To Planned Parenthood In Name Of Anti-Abortion U.S. Vice President-Elect
Thousands of people have made donations to Planned Parenthood in the name of Vice President-elect Mike Pence, an abortion opponent, so that he will receive official acknowledgements from the women's health care provider, the group said on Tuesday. The idea of making donations in Pence's name arose and spread on social media as a protest after Republican Donald Trump won his bid for the U.S. presidency in a surprise victory last week. (Malo, 11/15)

The New York Times: Under Donald Trump, Harsh Critic Of V.A. May Become Its Leader
On the campaign trail, Donald J. Trump savaged the Department of Veterans Affairs, calling it a “disaster” and “the most corrupt agency in the United States.” He vowed to fire many workers at the department in an effort to fix a health care system fraught with delays. As he transitions to the White House, he has tapped the agency’s harshest critics to advise him. (Philipps, 11/15)

NPR: How Would Biomedical Research Change Under A Trump Administration?
What could the world of medical research look like under a Trump administration? It's hardly an idle question. The federal government spends more than $30 billion a year to fund the National Institutes of Health. That's the single largest chunk of federal research funding spent outside the Pentagon's sphere of influence. (Harris, 11/15)

The Associated Press: GOP Governors Hope To Move Fast On Making Promised Changes
Republicans are still celebrating their election victories, but the country's GOP governors warned this week that they need to move fast on many of the changes that have been promised to voters. ... Most of the GOP governors mentioned health care when discussing their top priorities. But it became evident they are not in complete agreement on how to unwind President Barack Obama's health care overhaul that included an expansion of Medicaid, the nation's main safety net health care program for the poor. (11/16)

Los Angeles Times: Judge Allows Anthem To Continue Sales Of Stripped-Down Insurance Policies
A judge ruled Tuesday against a restraining order that would have stopped Anthem Blue Cross from switching 500,000 Californians to health insurance plans offering no coverage for out-of-network care. A consumer group had asked the judge for the restraining order after Anthem sent notices saying customers would be automatically switched into plans that paid nothing for doctors and hospitals outside the network if they did not change to another insurer by Dec. 15. (sen, 11/15)

The New York Times: Study Shows Promise For Expensive Cholesterol Drugs, But They Are Still Hard To Obtain
If there is one thing decades of studies with tens of thousands of heart disease patients have revealed, it is that lowering cholesterol can reduce the risk of heart attacks and deaths. Now, with new drugs on the market that can plunge cholesterol levels lower than ever thought possible, researchers are eagerly waiting for an answer to the next question: Is there a limit to the benefits in high-risk patients? After a certain point, do benefits level off or even reverse? (Kolata, 11/15)

KQED: Mantis Shrimp's Incredible Eyesight Yields Clues For Detecting Cancer
Mantis shrimp, a group of aggressive, reef-dwelling crustaceans, take more than one first-place ribbon in the animal kingdom. Outwardly, they resemble their lobster cousins, but their colorful shells contain an impressive set of superpowers. Now, scientists are finding that one of those abilities — incredible eyesight — has potential life-saving implications for people with cancer. (Kennerson and Boyle, 11/15)

The Associated Press: Delaware DHSS Seeks $42M In Additional General Fund Dollars
Delaware’s Department of Health and Social Services is asking state budget officials for $42 million in additional funding to pay for Medicaid and other programs. The $1.22 billion budget request presented Tuesday represents an increase of 3.6 percent over the current year’s budget. It includes $13.3 million for Medicaid, which currently covers some 220,000 people, more than one-fifth of Delaware’s population. (Chase, 11/15)

The Associated Press: ‘Death With Dignity’ Bill Passes In DC, Will Go To Congress
District of Columbia lawmakers have given final approval to a bill that would allow terminally ill patients to end their own lives with the help of a doctor. The “Death with Dignity” bill was approved Tuesday on an 11-to-2 vote and goes to Mayor Muriel Bowser for her signature. Once the bill becomes law, it will be sent to Congress for review. (Nuckols, 11/15)

The Associated Press: S. Carolina Agency Suspends Changes To Abortion Regulations
South Carolina’s public health agency is holding off on recommending any changes to abortion clinic regulations after being inundated with responses to its drafted proposal. The state Department of Health and Environmental Control confirmed Tuesday the process is delayed indefinitely. It received nearly 460 comments on proposed changes put out in September for public review. (Adcox, 11/15)

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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