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May 29 – June 19, 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.

NPR: New U.S. Measles Cases Break 25-Year-Old Record, Health Officials Say

The number of new measles cases in the United States so far this year has hit 971, exceeding a record established 25 years ago that covered a whole year of new measles cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Thursday.

 

The Associated Press: US Holds CBD Hearing As Fans, Sellers Await Legal Clarity

No decisions are expected immediately, but the hearing is seen as an important step toward clarifying regulations around the ingredient."

 

STAT: Is $2.1 million Too Much For A Drug? For Affected Parents, There Is No Debate

A decision by the drug maker Novartis to put a $2.1 million price tag on its latest product, a one-time treatment for a rare and fatal childhood disease, has sparked a national debate about just how much society should pay for the medicines it needs.

 

USA Today: Nursing Home Negligence: Senate Report Names Nearly 400 Facilities With 'Persistent Record Of Poor Care'

Among the facilities on a list the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services provided is a Texas nursing home whose management allegedly failed to fix a waste system backup.

 

The Washington Post: Quest Diagnostics Discloses Breach Of Patient Records

Quest Diagnostics, the medical testing company, said a data breach has affected about 11.9 million patients after an “unauthorized user’’ gained access to financial data, Social Security numbers and medical data but not laboratory test results.

 

Reuters: CVS To Expand Health Hubs To 1,500 Stores By End Of 2021

CVS Health Corp said it would offer expanded health services such as nutrition counseling and blood pressure screenings in 1,500 stores by the end of 2021, following through on plans announced during the pharmacy chain's 2018 acquisition of health insurer Aetna.

 

The Hill: GOP Senators Ask PhRMA For Solutions To Lower Drug Prices

A group of eight Republican senators is writing to pharmaceutical companies asking them what solutions they have for lowering drug prices. 

 

 

The New York Times: White Meat Vs. Red Meat And Cholesterol Levels

Many people choose white meat over red in the belief that white meat is less likely to lead to high cholesterol levels.

 

NBC News: U.S. Death Rates From Suicides, Alcohol And Drug Overdoses Reach All-Time High

Rates of deaths from suicides, drug overdoses and alcohol have reached an all-time high in the United States, but some states have been hit far harder than others, according to a report released Wednesday by the Commonwealth Fund.

 

CNN: Lawmakers Urge DOJ To Launch Criminal Investigation Of Generic Drug Makers

Two top lawmakers urged the US Department of Justice on Thursday to launch a criminal investigation into the nation's generic drug manufacturers to see whether their executives conspired to raise prices at the expense of the American public.

 

Kaiser Health News: Why You Should Take A Peek At Your Doctor’s Notes On Your Health

Some patient advocates say your doctor’s notes offer insights you might never hear from your physician, putting patient and provider on the same page.

 

STATES IN THE NEWS

 

The Star Tribune: Children's Nurses Set Strike Vote In Deadlock Over Health Benefits

Nurses with Children's Minnesota will vote Thursday whether to authorize a strike at the organization's two Twin Cities hospitals amid a contract dispute over health benefits.

 

The CT Mirror: Pharmaceutical Distributors Push Back At Possible State Opioid Tax

Plans to include a new tax on opioids in the Connecticut state budget drew renewed opposition Saturday from the pharmaceutical industry, a potential complication for the budget debate scheduled Monday for the General Assembly.

 

The Seattle Times: Washington State Health Insurers Propose Lowest Rate Increase In Affordable Care Act Era

Health insurers have proposed an average rate increase of less than 1% for the individual market after three years of double-digit rate increases in premiums.

 

The Columbus Dispatch: Drug Middlemen Name Own Prices, Methodology Goes Unchallenged

Ohio Medicaid officials and their managed-care contractors say they’re bringing new transparency to an opaque drug-delivery system that in 2017 saw more than a quarter-billion-dollar markup to taxpayers.

 

Newsday: Report: New York Children More Likely To Have Health Insurance Than Other States

New York State children are much more likely to have health insurance and less likely to die young than kids in other states, but high housing costs are impacting their economic well-being, according to a national study released Monday.