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KHN First Edition: October 14, 2015


First Edition

Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Check Kaiser Health News online for the latest headlines

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

Kaiser Health News: Biking Behind Bars: Female Inmates Battle Weight Gain
WHYY's Taunya English, working in partnership with Kaiser Health News and NPR, reports: "The gym at Riverside Correctional Facility in Philadelphia is through the metal detector, two heavy doors and down the hall. There’s a basketball court like one you’d see at any high school, except there’s a corrections officer on guard near the three-point line. Sixteen stationary bikes are set up in a half circle in the corner. On bike number two, Lakiesha Montgomery, 32, from Philadelphia, is peddling fast and singing along to the Nicki Minaj’s song 'Fly.'” (English, 10/14)

The Wall Street Journal: Hillary Clinton Confronts Critics At First Democratic Debate
The Democrats’ first matchup proved to nearly be as rough-and-tumble as the previous Republican debates, though the candidates also found several areas of agreement. ... Each candidate had a chance to cite interest groups they had taken on when asked which enemies they are most proud of. Mrs. Clinton narrowed her list to health-insurance companies, drug companies, the Iranians and “probably the Republicans.” Mr. Sanders mentioned Wall Street and pharmaceutical companies. Mr. Webb mentioned an enemy soldier who wounded him but added with a smile that he was no longer around. (McCain Nelson, Meckler and Nicholas, 10/14)

The Washington Post: Clinton, Sanders Dominate Democrats’ First Go On The Debate Stage
The Democrats’ differences were focused largely on issues and policies, though there was far more engagement than some had predicted. The debate included discussions about climate change and renewable energy, college affordability, prescription drugs, terrorism and civil liberties, and the most serious threats to U.S. security in a world awash in conflicts. (Balz and Gearan, 10/13)

The Associated Press: Bush Offers Plan To End, Replace Health Care Law
Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush on Monday proposed repealing and replacing President Barack Obama’s health care law, which some call Obamacare, 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 federal health care law. Bush was expected to release more details Tuesday, during a three-day swing through New Hampshire. (Bustos, 10/12)

Los Angeles Times: Jeb Bush Increases Attacks On Obamacare, Pledges Replacement
Bush's 10-page replacement plan is now the most detailed alternative being offered by any of the top-tier GOP candidates. It represents a stark contrast with Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has been campaigning on the health’s law historic expansion of health coverage while proposing new regulations to protect consumers from rising drug prices and runaway medical bills. (Levey, 10/13)

Politico: Ryan Or Bust: GOP Lacks Viable Fallback For Speaker
If Kevin McCarthy was Plan A, and a very resistant Paul Ryan is Plan B, House Republicans don’t currently have a viable Plan C to become their next speaker. The half-dozen or so Republicans seriously looking at running believe they can unite the warring GOP Conference. But most or all of them would face a serious challenge wooing the several dozen hard-line conservatives who don’t have the numbers to get one of their own in the No. 1 spot but have demonstrated that, if they stick together, they can veto other candidates. (French, 10/13)

The New York Times: Planned Parenthood Won’t Accept Money For Fetal Tissue
Trying to quell the controversy over its use of fetal tissue, Planned Parenthood announced Tuesday that it would no longer accept reimbursement for the costs of providing the tissue for medical research. The move comes after months of attacks on the group, beginning with the release in July of undercover videos by anti-abortion groups. The videos seemed to show Planned Parenthood officials discussing the procurement of fetal tissue, which led to an unsuccessful Republican effort in Congress to end its federal financing. (Lewin, 10/13)

Los Angeles Times: Planned Parenthood Stops Accepting Payment For Fetal Tissue Used For Research
“Over the last two months, opponents of safe and legal abortion have turned patently false claims about our role in fetal tissue donation into fodder to advance their extreme political agenda,” Richards wrote in the letter, which was released Tuesday. The results of that campaign, she said, included “votes in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate that would have blocked Planned Parenthood from receiving federal reimbursements for providing cancer screenings and other preventive care.” (LaGanga and Muskal, 10/13)

The Associated Press: Planned Parenthood Changes Fetal-Tissue Reimbursement Policy
Anti-abortion activists who recently released a series of covertly filmed videos have contended that Planned Parenthood officials sought profits from their programs providing post-abortion fetal tissue to researchers. Planned Parenthood said the videos were deceptively edited and denied seeking any payments beyond legally permitted reimbursement of costs. The new policy — forgoing even permissible reimbursement — was outlined in a letter sent Tuesday by Planned Parenthood's president, Cecile Richards, to Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health. (10/13)

The Wall Street Journal: Alzheimer’s Research Effort Is Ensnared In Legal Dispute
Caught in the crossfire of the legal dispute is the Alzheimer’s Disease Collaborative Study, a $100 million-plus research effort to test new drugs, formed between the University of California, San Diego and the National Institute on Aging, a federal agency, and partly funded by corporate grants from companies like Eli Lilly & Co. Neither the companies nor the NIH are named as defendants. (Wang and Loftus, 10/14)

The Wall Street Journal: Study Raises New Concerns About Bayer Sterility Device
In the first large, controlled study of Bayer AG’s sterility device Essure, researchers found that women who have had it implanted were 10 times as likely to need new operations as women who got standard sterility surgery. Women have spoken of debilitating pain and allergic reactions to the Essure implants, including at a Food and Drug Administration workshop last month. Some 750,000 or more women world-wide have gotten the Essure implants, but it has been difficult to assess the scope of the problem until this study. (Burton, 10/13)

The Associated Press: Xerox Books $385M Charge Over State Medicaid Contracts
Xerox will book a pre-tax charge of around $385 million in the third quarter, after the business services and copier company announced that it will not complete the implementation of new Medicaid payment systems for Montana and California. The Norwalk, Connecticut, company said Tuesday that it will still process Medicaid claims in those states using existing systems to avoid interrupting any services. (10/13)

The Wall Street Journal: Centene Says Glass Lewis, ISS Back Health Net Acquisition
St. Louis-based Centene, a Medicaid-focused health insurer, is looking for the deal to boost its presence in California and other western states, while allowing for $150 million a year in synergies in the second year after closing. Health Net shareholders will receive 0.622 shares of Centene and $28.25 in cash for each share held. (Minaya, 10/13)

The Associated Press: Report: Budget Growth Due In Large Part To Medicaid Growth
A new report shows that growing Medicaid spending is responsible for much of the growth in the Virginia state budget. A report by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission issued Tuesday showed that Medicaid spending rose by 75 percent from fiscal 2006 to 2016. That accounted for 25 percent of the state budget’s total growth from $32 billion to $47 billion during that time. (10/13)

The Associated Press: California's Sweeping New Social Policies Could Set Trend
California ends its legislative season having enacted some of the country's most aggressive social policies: Laws requiring student vaccinations, granting terminally ill people the right to take life-ending medications, and mandating equal pay for women were among dozens approved. The range of sweeping new laws in the most populous state reflects legislators' desire to set a national trend on progressive social and environmental issues while sidestepping more thorny economic matters. (10/13)

Los Angeles Times: Vaccines Required For Daycare Workers Under New California Law
A new California law will require daycare workers to have vaccinations for measles and whooping cough by next year. The law was approved this week by Gov. Jerry Brown nearly a year after California's worst measles outbreak in 24 years began at Disneyland, infecting more than 130 California residents and more than two dozen other people who resided out of state. (LIn II and Xia, 10/13)

NPR: California Doctors Get Advice On How To Provide Aid In Dying
Now that California has legalized aid in dying, advocacy groups are planning statewide education campaigns so doctors know what to do when patients ask for lethal medication to end their lives. One of the first stops for doctors new to the practice is a doctor-to-doctor toll-free helpline. It's staffed by physicians from states where the practice is legal, who have experience writing prescriptions for lethal medication. (Dembosky, 10/13)

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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