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KHN First Edition: December 13, 2016


First Edition

Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Check Kaiser Health News online for the latest headlines

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

Kaiser Health News: Without ACA Guarantees, 52 Million Adults Could Have Trouble Buying Individual Plans
Carmen Heredia Rodriguez reports: "More than 1 in 4 adults younger than 65 live with conditions that private insurers could have declined to cover in some policies prior to the Affordable Care Act, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The researchers noted that a large share of those individuals likely get their insurance through their employers, which does not take into consideration prior health issues. But if the health law were repealed and those people lost their health insurance for any reason, they could face problems." (Rodriguez, 12/13)

Politico: King Talks Russia, Obamacare Ahead Of Trump Meeting
Rep. King said he is meeting with President-elect Donald Trump later in the week to talk about the president's agenda. The New York Republican said the Trump team has shown a willingness to take on the Affordable Care Act early in the administration, a priority of his and other Republicans. (Dawsey, 12/12)

NPR: Obamacare's Death Could Be Faster Than Republicans Intend
Republicans in Congress say they'll vote to repeal much of the Affordable Care Act early next year — even though they don't yet have a plan to replace it. But they also insist that they don't want to harm any of the millions of people who got their health insurance under the law. (Kodjak, 12/12)

Reuters: U.S. Seeks To Undercut Aetna CEO's Defence In Merger Fight
The U.S. Justice Department sought on Monday to knock down arguments by Aetna Inc's chief executive that Medicare Advantage competes with government insurance programs, making Aetna's proposed merger with Humana legal under antitrust law. Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini testified on Friday and returned to the witness stand Monday morning. The Justice Department sued to stop the merger in July. (Bartz, 12/12)

Reuters: Trump Considering Dr. Scott Gottlieb To Head FDA
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a partner at one of the world's largest venture capital funds and a former deputy commissioner at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is being considered by President-elect Donald Trump to run the agency, according to sources close to the transition team. (Clarke, 12/12)

The Washington Post: Trump Is Under Pressure To Keep Obama’s VA Secretary
Trump was harshly critical of VA on the campaign trail, calling it “the most corrupt agency” and charging that some veterans are “being treated worse than illegal immigrants.” Keeping McDonald, 63, would run counter to Trump’s promise that he would upend the status quo to provide better care for veterans. (Rein, 12/12)

The New York Times: One In 6 American Adults Say They Have Taken Psychiatric Drugs, Report Says
About one in six American adults reported taking at least one psychiatric drug, usually an antidepressant or an anti-anxiety medication, and most had been doing so for a year or more, according to a new analysis. The report is based on 2013 government survey data on some 242 million adults and provides the most fine-grained snapshot of prescription drug use for psychological and sleep problems to date. (Carey, 12/12)

Los Angeles Times: E-Cigarette Use Falls Among Teens For The First Time, Study Finds
For the first time, researchers are seeing signs that American teens may be turning away from electronic cigarettes. An annual survey involving thousands of middle and high school students from across the nation found that use of e-cigarettes — both experimentally and on a regular basis — declined in 2016 after reaching an all-time high in 2015. (Kaplan, 12/12)

The New York Times: One Weight-Loss Approach Fits All? No, Not Even Close
Dr. Frank Sacks, a professor of nutrition at Harvard, likes to challenge his audience when he gives lectures on obesity. “If you want to make a great discovery,” he tells them, figure out this: Why do some people lose 50 pounds on a diet while others on the same diet gain a few pounds? Then he shows them data from a study he did that found exactly that effect. (Kolata, 12/12)

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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