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February 3 – February 22, 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.

NPR: Black Lung Study Finds Biggest Cluster Ever Of Fatal Coal Miners' Disease

Epidemiologists at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health say they've identified the largest cluster of advanced black lung disease ever reported, a cluster that was first uncovered by NPR 14 months ago.

 

Kaiser Health News: Bipartisan Senate Budget Deal Boosts Health Programs

In a rare show of bipartisanship for the mostly polarized 115th Congress, Republican and Democratic Senate leaders announced a two-year budget deal that would increase federal spending for defense as well as key domestic priorities, including many health programs.

 

The Washington Post: White House Releases White Paper On Lowering Drug Prices

The White House released a 30-page white paper Friday morning that promotes easing government regulations and spurring innovation to lower drug prices, while roundly rejecting the idea of government price setting.

 

Reuters: OxyContin Maker Stops Promoting Opioids, Cuts Sales Staff

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP said on Saturday that it has cut its sales force in half and will stop promoting opioids to physicians, following widespread criticism of the ways that drugmakers market addictive painkillers.

 

The Hill: House GOP Discussing Repeal Of ObamaCare Employer Mandate

House Republicans are in discussions about repealing or delaying ObamaCare’s employer mandate to offer health insurance, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said Tuesday.

 

Politico: Spending Deals Signal End Of Unpopular Obamacare Cost Checks

The recent congressional spending deals repealed or delayed several ACA taxes, as well as a Medicare cost-cutting board.

 

The New York Times: Trump Plan: Less Health Insurance For Lower Premiums

The Trump administration Tuesday spelled out a plan to lower the cost of health insurance: give consumers the option of buying less coverage in exchange for reduced premiums.

 

 

The Washington Times: Liberal Group Proposing Plan For Health Coverage For All

A major liberal policy group is raising the ante on the health care debate with a new plan that builds on Medicare to guarantee coverage for all.

 

STATES IN THE NEWS

 

Star Tribune: Andy Slavitt Launches Push For Affordable Health Care

Andy Slavitt, the former UnitedHealth Group executive who led implementation of the federal health law during the Obama administration, has launched a nonprofit that aspires to break through the partisan logjam to find consensus on access to affordable health care.