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August 31 – September 17, 2018

The purpose of this bulletin is to compile a handful of articles relating to health care coverage in the United States that are most pertinent to LIUNA and its health and welfare funds. We hope you find this biweekly bulletin helpful and informative.

The New York Times: The Last Company You Would Expect Is Reinventing Health Benefits

It’s hard to think of a company that seems less likely to transform health care.

 

STAT: Pediatrics Group Encourages Parents To Steer Clear Of Popular FluMist In Favor Of Shots

The American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending children be vaccinated with injectable flu vaccine for the coming season, rather than the nasal spray vaccine FluMist, unless a child will only be vaccinated if he or she can forgo a needle, or if a doctor runs out of flu shots.

 

NPR: Analysts Predict Health Care Marketplace Premiums Will Stabilize For 2019 Coverage

Consumers who buy insurance through the Affordable Care Act markets may be pleasantly surprised this fall as average premiums are forecast to rise much less than in recent years.

 

Politico: Red States Press Court To Scrap Obamacare

FORT WORTH, Texas — Lawyers from 20 mostly conservative states on Wednesday demanded a federal judge scrap the “hollow shell” of Obamacare.

 

The Hill: Poll: Majority Want To Keep ObamaCare Protections For Pre-Existing Conditions

A majority in a new poll want ObamaCare’s protections for pre-existing conditions to remain the law.

 

Kaiser Health News: The High Cost Of Hope: When The Parallel Interests Of Pharma And Families Collide

A desperate but determined group of parents raised millions through golf tournaments and cocktail parties to support research for drugs to fight cystinosis, a rare, fatal childhood disease.

 

McClatchy DC Bureau: The GOP’s New Attack: Democrats Wants To ‘End’ Medicare

Two months before Election Day, some Republicans have embraced an unexpected new way to attack Democratic candidates: The party of Medicare for All, they charge, actually wants to take away Medicare from senior citizens.

 

CNN: Nearly 30% Of All Opioid Prescriptions Lack Medical Explanation

How large a role do doctors play in the opioid crisis?

 

Financial Times: Pharma Chief Defends 400% Drug Price Rise As A ‘Moral Requirement’

A pharma executive has defended his decision to raise the price of an antibiotic mixture to more than $2,000 a bottle, arguing there was a “moral requirement to sell the product at the highest price.”

 

STATES IN THE NEWS

 

San Jose Mercury News: Owner Of Four Struggling Bay Area Hospitals Seeks Bankruptcy Protection

Verity Health System of California, Inc. the nonprofit that took over four former Daughters of Charity hospitals in the Bay Area — two of which are coveted by Santa Clara County — filed for bankruptcy protection Friday.

 

Des Moines Register: Iowa Employers Face Steep Health Insurance Price Increases, But Keep Offering Benefits

Iowa employers, who provide health insurance to more than half of all Iowans, aren't dropping the benefit, despite facing a series of steep premium increases, a new study shows.

 

Arkansas Times: Governor Defends Work Rule For Medicaid

Gov. Asa Hutchinson called in the press today to defend his work rule for Medicaid and to say, essentially, that loss of coverage was on those who lost it, not the state.