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August 22 – September 10, 2019

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.

CNN: Want To Avoid An Early Death? Get Moving, A Study Says

The medical journal BMJ published a report today that links higher levels of physical activity at any intensity to a lower risk of early death in middle-age and older people.

 

The Hill: Advocates Sound Alarm As Uninsured Rate Rises Under Trump

The uninsured rate is rising for the first time since ObamaCare passed, two recent studies show, alarming advocates who fear the problem could get worse.

 

WBUR: A Crisis Of Care: As America Gets Older, Who Will Pick Up The Slack?

The older population of the U.S. is skyrocketing, with the number of seniors expected to approximately double in the next few decades – while the population over 85 nearly triples.

 

Kaiser Health News: Mysterious Vaping Lung Injuries May Have Flown Under Regulatory Radar

It was the arrival of the second man in his early 20s gasping for air that alarmed Dr. Dixie Harris. 

 

Modern Healthcare: U.S. Surgeon General Advises No Marijuana For Pregnant Women, Adolescents

The U.S. surgeon general issued an advisory Thursday on the risk of marijuana for adolescents and pregnant women — two groups increasingly using the drug that has been legalized in some form in 33 states.

 

NPR: Optimists For The Win: Finding The Bright Side Might Help You Live Longer

Good news for the cheery: A Boston study published this month suggests people who tend to be optimistic are likelier than others to live to be 85 years old or more.

 

USA Today: Trump Administration Dedicating Nearly $2 Billion In Grants To Fight Opioid Epidemic

The Trump administration announced on Wednesday it will award $1.8 billion in grant funding to state and local governments to bolster treatment and prevention efforts in the battle against the opioid epidemic.

 

NBC News: Opioid Talks Break Down; Owners Of Purdue Pharma Balk At Paying $4.5 Billion

Settlement talks between Purdue Pharma and the states and cities suing the opioid maker stalled last week after state officials asked for $4.5 billion from the owners of Purdue, the Sackler family, instead of a previously discussed guarantee of $3 billion, said two sources familiar with the talks.

 

The Washington Post: Why More Ex-Smokers, And Smokers, Should Take CT Lung Cancer Test

The warnings are old hat by now: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking causes about 1 in 5 deaths in the United States each year.

 

STATES IN THE NEWS

 

Tampa Bay Times: Former Nurse Sues St. Joseph’s Hospital Claiming Unsafe Staffing In Emergency Room

A St. Joseph’s Hospital nurse is suing her former employer over unsafe workplace conditions, which include allegations of “dangerously" low staffing levels in the emergency room.

 

Georgia Health News: Don’t Confuse Care Sharing Ministries With Insurance, State Warns

Georgia’s insurance commissioner is warning consumers of the potential financial risks of joining a Health Care Sharing Ministries program as an alternative to regular insurance.

 

Arizona Republic: A California Union Is Behind Health Ballot Initiative In Arizona

A California union is financing a statewide health reform initiative that would ensure protections for Arizona residents with preexisting conditions.

 

California Healthline: Governor’s ‘Mental Health Czar’ Seeks New Blueprint For Care In California

In a career full of twists, turns and high-powered assignments, Thomas Insel may now be embarking on one of his most daunting tasks yet — helping California find its way out of a worrisome mental health care crisis.

 

Nashville Tennessean: ‘I’m Going To Cheat.’ Health Care CEO Sentenced To 3.5 Years In Bribery Scheme

A Middle Tennessee health care CEO who admitted to paying bribes to attract customers and defraud the government out of millions has been sentenced to three and a half years in federal prison.

 

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Obamacare Health Insurance Exchange Prices To Drop In Ohio For First Time

Ohioans who purchase insurance on HealthCare.gov will likely save money in 2020, as the state is reporting an average premium decrease of 7.7% compared to last year, according to the Ohio Department of Insurance.

 

The CT Mirror: Customers, Lawmakers Urge State Insurance Officials To Address Rising Costs

Lawmakers, health care advocates and customers made a vociferous plea to Connecticut’s insurance commissioner and regulators Wednesday to block rate hikes, calling the years-long cycle of increases on the state’s health insurance exchange unsustainable.

 

Pioneer Press: State Delays Awarding $5 Billion Worth Of Public Health Contracts

Minnesota officials are delaying updating new contracts for public health programs worth as much as $5 billion a year after some local leaders complained about the selection process and a current provider sued the state.