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KHN First Edition: April 3, 2017


First Edition

Monday, April 03, 2017
Check Kaiser Health News online for the latest headlines

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

Kaiser Health News: Also Made In Mexico: Lifesaving Devices
Sarah Varney reports: "The North American Free Trade Agreement has transformed this sprawling and gumptious border town from a gritty party spot to something entirely different: a world capital of medical devices.Trucks choke boulevards lined with factories, many bearing the names of American-born companies: Medtronic, Hill-Rom, DJO Global and Greatbatch Medical. Inside, Mexican workers churn out millions of medical devices each day, from intravenous bags to artificial respirators, for the global market." (Varney, 4/3)

Kaiser Health News: Boomerang Seniors: Aging Adults Move To Be Near Mom Or Dad
Sharon Jayson reports: "Like many peers in their 70s, Lois and Richard Jones of Media, Pa., sold their home and downsized, opting for an apartment in a nearby senior living community they had come to know well. For 13 years, they have visited Lois’ mother, Madge Wertzberger, there. Wertzberger, 95, is in assisted living at Granite Farms Estates. Lois, 73, and Richard, 76, who have been married 56 years, moved into an adjoining building in October. ... Yet they’re among a growing group of seniors with a living parent, which means these 21st-century post-retirement years might well include parental caretaking. Expectations are altered amid the new reality of longer life expectancy and growing numbers of aged Americans." (Jayson, 4/3)

California Healthline: The Next Obamacare Battleground: Subsidies For Out-Of-Pocket Costs
Ana B. Ibarra reports: "When Republicans pulled their Affordable Care Act replacement bill last Friday, Lauren Lake’s primary reaction was relief. But like a lot of people who depend on state exchanges for coverage, the 51-year-old consultant also was wary. That’s because she knows the Trump administration could still undo an important part of the law she depends on to afford health care." (Ibarra, 3/31)

USA Today: Trump Claims He Will Rally On Health Care
President Trump expressed confidence Sunday — both on social media and the golf course — that he and aides can somehow resurrect their attempt to repeal President Barack Obama's health care law. Hours before hitting the links with one of his critics on health care — Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky — Trump tweeted: "Anybody (especially Fake News media) who thinks that Repeal & Replace of ObamaCare is dead does not know the love and strength in R Party!" (Jackson, 4/2)

The Associated Press: Trump Takes Up Health Care With Rand Paul, On Golf Course
President Donald Trump brought Sen. Rand Paul to his Virginia golf course on Sunday to talk health policy with the outspoken critic of the failed plan to repeal and replace so-called Obamacare. The outing to Trump National Golf Club came hours after Trump tweeted that talks on replacing the law have been going on and "will continue until such time as a deal is hopefully struck." (4/2)

The Associated Press: Health Care Defeat Means GOP Risks Blame In '18 Elections
The crash of the House Republican health care bill may well have transformed an issue the party has long used to bash Democrats into the GOP's own political nightmare. Since former President Barack Obama's health care overhaul was enacted in 2010, Republicans have blamed Democrats for rising premiums and diminished choices of insurers and doctors in many markets. Repealing Obama's law has been a paramount GOP campaign promise that helped them grab control of the House that year, the Senate in 2014 and elected Donald Trump to the White House last November. (4/1)

Politico: Freedom Caucus' Jordan Responds To Trump Primary Threat
Rep. Jim Jordan, former chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, pushed back Sunday against President Donald Trump's tweets blaming the Freedom Caucus for torpedoing the GOP health care bill. "Tweets and statements and blame don't change facts," Jordan, an Ohio Republican, told Jake Tapper on CNN's "State of the Union." "And the facts remain the same. When you look at the document, when you look at the legislation, it doesn't repeal Obamacare." (Meyer, 4/2)

Politico: Sen. Susan Collins And Rep. Charlie Dent On What's Next For Health Care
Conservatives are feuding with the White House over health care. House Speaker Paul Ryan is warning President Trump against doing a deal with Democrats. If there's a path to health reform, it may run through moderate Republicans — and on this PULSE CHECK, you’re going to hear from two of the most prominent in Congress. (Diamond, 3/31)

NPR: States Revive Efforts To Expand Their Medicaid Programs
Kansas state Sen. Barbara Bollier is a Republican who has been fighting for years to get her colleagues to agree to expand Medicaid. For years she pushed against what she described as a "Tea Party-ish" Senate and a governor who wouldn't consider the issue. In return for her efforts, she was stripped of her committee assignments and sidelined. (Kodjak, 3/2)

The New York Times: The Next Battle In The War Over Planned Parenthood
Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, was poring over a spiral notebook in her bare-bones office here when she was asked about President Trump’s latest attempt to cut a deal on abortion. Days earlier, the Trump White House had floated a trial balloon: If Planned Parenthood would quit performing abortions, it could keep roughly $550 million in annual federal funding. (Stolberg, 3/31)

The Washington Post: This Company’s Drugs Helped Fuel Florida’s Opioid Crisis. But The Government Struggled To Hold Them Accountable.
To combat an escalating opioid epidemic, the Drug Enforcement Administration trained its sights in 2011 on Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of the highly addictive generic painkiller oxycodone. It was the first time the DEA had targeted a manufacturer of opioids for alleged violations of laws designed to prevent diversion of legal narcotics to the black market. And it would become the largest prescription-drug case the agency has pursued. (Bernstein and Higham, 4/2)

The Wall Street Journal: Drug Czar’s Letter To Congress Highlights Fentanyl Crisis
The potent opioid fentanyl, which is worsening a deadly U.S. drug epidemic, is pouring into the country from an array of sources and presenting law enforcement with complex challenges, according to new information from the nation’s drug czar. A detailed letter to U.S. House lawmakers, responding to a request from the Energy and Commerce Committee, laid out many details about how authorities believe traffickers are moving and selling fentanyl. The drug czar’s office acknowledged available data don’t capture the full scope of the fentanyl crisis, yet still underscore an overwhelming problem. (Kamp and Campo-Flores, 3/31)

The Washington Post: States Begin To Use Schools To Fight Opioid Abuse
Michigan lawmakers are considering requiring mandatory opioid abuse education in public schools as part of a package of bills aimed at combating the addiction and overdose epidemic in the state. The proposal is similar to action taken in Ohio to provide K-12 students with instruction on the dangers of prescription opioid use. If the bill passes, the program would be implemented by the 2018 school year by the Michigan Department of Education. ­Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and South Carolina are considering similar bills. (Wiltz, 4/1)

The Associated Press: Anti-Allergy Medicine EpiPen Recall Expands To US
A recall of the emergency anti-allergy medicine EpiPen is expanding to the U.S. and other markets in North America, Europe, Asia and South America because the allergy shots may not work. The notice issued Friday by Mylan N.V. expands upon warnings made earlier this month after two reports of the device failing. (3/31)

Reuters: U.S. Zika Vaccine Begins Second Phase Of Testing
Researchers have begun the second phase of testing of a Zika vaccine developed by U.S. government scientists in a trial that could yield preliminary results as early as the end of 2017. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Friday the $100 million trial has already been funded and will proceed, irrespective of the $7 billion in cuts to the National Institutes of Health budget proposed by the Trump Administration over the next 18 months. (Steenhuysen, 3/31)

The Washington Post: Zika Vaccine Test Moves To Next Stage With More Than 2,000 Volunteers In U.S., Abroad
The experimental vaccine, developed by scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is one of the first to progress to expanded testing of at least a half-dozen candidates in the development pipeline in the United States. Initial results could be available by the end of this year. If this next phase shows good results, and another outbreak of Zika flares in South America or elsewhere, it’s possible that the Food and Drug Administration could make the vaccine available on an emergency basis, said NIAID Director Anthony Fauci in a conference call with reporters. (Sun, 3/31)

The Washington Post: The Scary Reason Doctors Say Kids Need HPV Vaccinations
When actor Michael Douglas told a reporter that his throat cancer was caused by HPV contracted through oral sex, two themes emerged that had nothing to do with celebrity gossip. The first was incredulity — since when was oral sex related to throat cancer? Even the reporter thought he had misheard. The second was embarrassment. This was too much information, not only about sexual behavior but also about one’s partners. Douglas apologized, and maybe the world was not ready to hear the greater truth behind what he was suggesting. That was four years ago. (Schaaff, 4/2)

The Associated Press: A 'Sci-Fi' Cancer Therapy Fights Brain Tumors, Study Finds
It sounds like science fiction, but a cap-like device that makes electric fields to fight cancer improved survival for the first time in more than a decade for people with deadly brain tumors, final results of a large study suggest. Many doctors are skeptical of the therapy, called tumor treating fields, and it's not a cure. It's also ultra-expensive — $21,000 a month. (4/2)

The Washington Post: Brain Cancer Survival Improves With Novel Electrical Device, Data Suggest
A wearable medical device that delivers electrical fields through the scalp helped to extend the survival of patients with lethal brain tumors, according to data presented Sunday. In a study involving major medical centers in the United States and abroad, the novel treatment was used to administer alternating, low-intensity “tumor-treating fields” to newly diagnosed glioblastoma patients who also were getting chemotherapy. Such electrical fields may block the division of cancer cells and cause their demise, according to Roger Stupp, the study's lead investigator and a neuro-oncologist at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. (McGinley, 4/2)

NPR: Songs With The Ideal Tempo For CPR
The first time cardiologist Sonia Tolani performed CPR outside a hospital was in 2009.She was on the subway in New York City, headed home from work, when she saw a man slump to the ground and stop breathing. "It was super crowded, it was like rush hour," she remembers. "I just decided we needed to do something, and dragged him out into the center of the subway train [and] I just started doing CPR." (Hersher, 4/3)

The Washington Post: Johns Hopkins Was Ready To Test Pot As A Treatment For PTSD. Then It Quit The Study.
Eighteen months after joining a study on using marijuana to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, Johns Hopkins University has pulled out without enrolling any veterans, the latest setback for the long-awaited research. The university said its goals were no longer aligned with those of the administrator of the study, the Santa Cruz, Calif.-based Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). MAPS said the dispute was over federal drug policy and whether to openly challenge federal rules that say medical cannabis research must rely on marijuana grown by the federal National Institute on Drug Abuse. (Gregg, 4/2)

The Associated Press: Deadline Up, Families Remain In Lead-Contaminated Housing In Indiana
Dozens of families remained at a lead-contaminated public housing complex in northwest Indiana despite a Friday target date to move them out so the city could tear down the buildings. More than 270 families have left the housing development, West Calumet Housing Complex in East Chicago, and officials hope to have the remaining 50 or so families out within a week. (4/1)

The Associated Press: New Jersey Bills Call For $1K Tax Credit To Organ Donors
A New Jersey lawmaker wants to offer tax credits to organ donors, but his no-strings approach is meeting opposition from groups who believe the practice runs afoul of federal law. While the National Organ Transplant Act makes it illegal for hospitals to pay for organs, 19 states provide either a tax credit or deduction for verifiable, unreimbursed expenses related to living organ donations, said Troy Zimmerman, of the National Kidney Foundation. In some states, the benefit also includes the donor's lost wages. (4/2)

Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent operating program of the Kaiser Family Foundation. (c) 2017 Kaiser Health News. All rights reserved.

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