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September 18 – October 3, 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: Study: A Daily Baby Aspirin Has No Benefit For Healthy Older People

Many healthy Americans take a baby aspirin every day to reduce their risk of having a heart attack, getting cancer and even possibly dementia.

 

STAT: A Different Kind Of House Call: Teams Bring Addiction Care To Patients, Wherever They Are

Shannon Ducharme was among her friend’s few lifelines: He was homeless and living in Golden Gate Park.

 

The Washington Post: Senate Passes Sweeping Opioids Package

In a rare moment of bipartisanship, the Senate overwhelmingly passed on Monday evening a sweeping package of bills aimed at addressing the nation’s deadly opioid epidemic.

 

Politico: Feds Approve Cigna-Express Scripts Mega-Merger

Federal regulators on Monday have approved health insurer Cigna’s $52 billion acquisition of drug benefits manager Express Scripts, a mega deal that's the latest evidence of health care giants bulking up, the companies said in an announcement Monday.

 

The Hill: Lawmakers Consider Easing Costs On Drug Companies As Part Of Opioids Deal

Lawmakers are considering adding a provision easing costs on drug companies to an opioid package currently being negotiated.

 

The New York Times: Ruling On Health Care Subsidies Could Prove Costly For Government

A federal court ruled this month that a Montana insurer is entitled to federal compensation for subsidy payments under the Affordable Care Act that President Trump abruptly ended last October, a ruling that could reverberate through insurance markets and cost the government hundreds of millions of dollars.

 

Fox News: Your 'Heart Age' May Be A Risk Factor For Early Death

You may be young at heart, but your heart might be old for its age.

 

Kaiser Health News: Workers Overdose On The Job, And Employers Struggle To Respond

Jimmy Sullivan prepared for his job as a bricklayer the same way every morning for years: injecting a shot of heroin before leaving his car.

 

 

STATES IN THE NEWS

 

Des Moines Register: Iowa Medicaid's Per-Member Cost Increases Nearly Triple Since Privatization

The average cost of insuring an Iowan on Medicaid has climbed nearly three times as fast since the state hired private companies to manage the program, when compared to the previous six years, new state figures show. 

 

Mass Live: Massachusetts Gets $50M For Opioid Treatment

Massachusetts is to receive more than $50 million in federal funding for the treatment of opioid use disorder in the state as well as to expand access to substance use disorder and mental health services, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday.

 

The Seattle Times: Washington To Get Almost $30 Million From Federal Government To Fight Opioid Abuse

Washington state is set to receive $29.8 million in federal funding to fight opioid abuse, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday.

 

The CT Mirror: A Decade Of Delays, $23 Million Spent, As State Makes Fourth Try For Health Information Exchange

The idea of a single health information exchange across the state of Connecticut seems simple: Gather all health information in one place and make it available to every practitioner involved with a single patient to provide the best care possible.