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KHN First Edition: October 13, 2015


First Edition

Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Check Kaiser Health News online for the latest headlines

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

Kaiser Health News: Dueling Recommendations About Need For Pelvic Exams Leaves Women Confused
Reporting for Kaiser Health News, Sandra G. Boodman writes: "It’s the latest battle over screening: Should healthy women skip annual pelvic exams? A controversial recommendation last year by the American College of Physicians, which represents the nation’s internists, strongly urged that doctors stop routinely performing the invasive exam on women without symptoms and who are not pregnant." (Boodman, 10/13)

The New York Times: Makeover Coming For
Acknowledging at least tacitly the difficulties of some health care consumers, the Obama administration plans major changes to this year to make it easier for shoppers to find health insurance plans that include their doctors and to predict their health care costs for the coming year. With substantial premium increases coming in some states in 2016, administration officials are expecting that many consumers already in the Affordable Care Act’s networks will have to switch health plans and find new doctors as they scramble for cheaper alternatives. (Pear, 10/12)

The Wall Street Journal: Health-Insurer Shutdown Jolts N.Y. Marketplace
The pending demise of Health Republic, the largest of the nonprofit cooperatives created under the Affordable Care Act and the only co-op in New York, removes a significant player from the state’s insurance industry. It also left the insurers’ 215,000 members, about half of whom are individuals and half are insured through small businesses, in need of new coverage. Individual Health Republic plans will end on Dec. 31, and small-group plans end as early as Oct. 31, although some will continue into next year. (Ramey, 10/12)

The Associated Press: Bush Offers Plan To Repeal, Replace Federal Health Care Law
Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush is proposing to repeal and replace President Barack Obama's health care law with one that would increase tax credits for individuals, allowing them to buy coverage protection against "high-cost medical events." But the two-page proposal, which would give more power to states to regulate health insurance, contained no specific details on how many people could be left without coverage. It does, however, guarantee coverage for people with pre-existing health conditions, which is part of Obama's 974-page federal health law. Bush was expected to release more details Tuesday, during a three-day swing through New Hampshire. (10/13)

The Wall Street Journal: Jeb Bush Vows To Repeal Health Law
Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush is hitting familiar GOP themes by vowing to repeal the Affordable Care Act and pledging to give states and individuals a greater role in establishing its replacement. Mr. Bush, in broad proposals released late Monday, didn’t say how he would go about overturning the 2010 federal health-care law—large portions of which have been in effect for years. (Radnofsky and Reinhard, 10/12)

The Washington Post: Jeb Bush To Pitch Replacing Obamacare With Tax Credits, Higher Health Savings Account Limits
Ahead of the Republican hopeful's Tuesday morning speech at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, Bush's campaign said his plan would accomplish three things: "promote innovation," "lower costs" and "return power to states." Bush's plan would "provide a tax credit for the purchase of affordable, portable health plans that protect Americans from high-cost medical events," according to his campaign, and it would "increase contribution limits and uses for Health Savings Accounts to help with out of-pocket costs." The campaign did not provide more details about the credit or what the new contribution caps would be. (Sullivan, 10/12)

Politico: Jeb Bush's Health Care Pitch Puts Florida Record To The Test
Jeb Bush will reach back to his own legacy as Florida governor on Tuesday to unveil his vision for replacing Obamacare, showcasing what he calls state-tested ideas for bringing down health care costs and revamping health coverage for the poor. But Democrats are ready to make the case that his record in Florida is nothing to emulate — that in particular, his changes to Medicaid harmed Florida’s poorer residents, something that could make him vulnerable in the general election if he becomes the GOP presidential nominee. (Cook and Sexton, 10/12)

The New York Times: Latest Unease On Right: Ryan Is Too Far Left
In 2012 when Mitt Romney picked Mr. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, as his running mate, the concern among some in their party was that Mr. Ryan was too conservative, particularly when it came to overhauling social programs like Medicare and Medicaid. Now, as he agonizes over whether to answer the appeal of his colleagues to become their next speaker, the far right is trotting out a fresh concern: Mr. Ryan is too far left. ... The conservative rap on Mr. Ryan’s fiscal positions is especially curious. As Budget Committee chairman, Mr. Ryan was the author of plans that would convert Medicare into something akin to a voucher plan, where seniors would get government subsidies to purchase private insurance and move away from government-run health care. He also wanted to turn Medicaid into increasingly tight block grants to state governments, and he also called for drastic cuts in food stamps, Pell grants and many other domestic programs. (Steinhauer, 10/12)

USA Today: Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders And Rest Of 2016 Dems Set For First Debate
There are still big differences between Clinton and Sanders, and they’ll come into focus during the candidate forum. Sanders wants to break up the big banks, while Clinton would penalize bankers who violate the law. He would also raise the minimum wage higher than she would, to $15 an hour, and expand health care coverage through a major Medicare expansion. She says she wants to improve the Affordable Care Act. Clinton also voted for the Iraq War as a senator, while Sanders opposed it while in the House. Yet Clinton’s greatest challenge is probably not on any specific issue. Rather, she'll need to convince Democratic voters that her recent leftward drift is genuine and not just political opportunism amid the heat of a primary battle. (Przybyla, 10/13)

The Wall Street Journal: New Push To Stop Overuse Of Antibiotics In Nursing Homes
A new front is emerging in the war on the overuse of antibiotics: the nursing home. Health officials and health-care executives, concerned by a rise in dangerous drug-resistant infections, are turning more attention to nursing homes, where antibiotics are some of the most frequently prescribed medications. They have concentrated over the past several years on curbing misuse of antibiotics in hospitals. (McKay, 10/12)

The Wall Street Journal: Speculative Developers Take Medical Projects Off Back Burner
Most developers in the medical-office-building business put speculative projects on hold during the recession. Now some are revisiting the idea, breaking ground on new projects without having any tenants lined up. Consider Downtown West Medical Offices, a medical-office-building project in central Los Angeles expected to be announced this week. The developers plan to build a four-story, 60,000-square-foot contemporary building consisting of primary- or specialty-care medical space that may include a pharmacy or physical-therapy facility on the ground floor. (Friedman, 10/13)

The Washington Post: Debate Over Paid Sick Leave Could Give Preview Of 2018 County Executive Race
A proposal for paid sick leave will be debated Tuesday at a Prince George’s County Council hearing that could offer a preview of the 2018 county executive’s race. The council’s planning, zoning and economic development committee is considering a bill that would require all businesses in the county to offer employees up to seven paid sick days annually — a benefit that was approved in Montgomery County earlier this year and has been touted by President Obama (D). (Hernandez, 10/13)

The Associated Press: NY Lt. Gov. Hochul Heads To Puerto Rico To Offer State's Aid
New York Health Commissioner Howard Zucker and Secretary of State Cesar Perales joined Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul for the visit Monday. The trip comes after Gov. Andrew Cuomo traveled to the island last month to offer New York's assistance as it deals with billions in public debt, much of it related to the state's Medicaid and Medicare programs. (10/12)

Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent operating program of the Kaiser Family Foundation. (c) 2014 Kaiser Health News. All rights reserved.

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