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November 28 – December 11, 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.

Politico: Trump May Finally Be Undermining Obamacare

There has been a steep drop in Obamacare insurance numbers, halfway through the sign-up season for 2019, raising concerns that the Trump administration’s controversial policy changes are undermining the marketplaces.


The Hill: CVS, Aetna Complete $70 Billion Merger

CVS completed its acquisition of Aetna on Wednesday, officially creating a health-care powerhouse.


Kaiser Health News: Democrats Winning Key Leadership Jobs Have Taken Millions From Pharma

Three of the lawmakers who will lead the House next year as Congress focuses on skyrocketing drug costs are among the biggest recipients of campaign contributions from the pharmaceutical industry, a new KHN analysis shows.


Associated Press: Suicide, At 50-Year Peak, Pushes Down US Life Expectancy

Suicides and drug overdoses pushed up U.S. deaths last year, and drove a continuing decline in how long Americans are expected to live.


ProPublica: Ill Nuclear Workers’ Benefits Petitions Have To Be Reviewed Within 6 Months. Some Have Languished About A Decade

Ten years ago, a security guard at Los Alamos National Laboratory submitted a petition to the federal government seeking compensation and benefits for his fellow lab workers who were sick with cancer and believed that radiation at the lab was to blame.


The Washington Post: New Drugs, Decades In The Making, Are Providing Relief For Migraines

Nancy Baum Lipsitz remembers the night the pain began. She’d had a glass of white wine with a friend and went to bed with a terrible headache.


CNN: Are Statins Overprescribed? Why The Risks And Benefits Are So Complex

Statins, drugs typically used to lower cholesterol, are relatively safe for most people.


WBUR: Why You May Be Denied Life Insurance For Carrying Naloxone

Blood work was supposed to be the last step in Isela’s application for life insurance. But when she arrived at the lab, her appointment had been cancelled.


PBS: New Study Shows 1 In 6 U.S. Health Care Workers Are Immigrants

According to a new research letter published Tuesday in Journal of the American Medical Association, about one out of six medical professionals are foreign-born.


NPR: Is America Ready For Prescription Heroin?

The U.S. drug crisis does not appear to be letting up. The nation experienced a shattering 47,000 opioid-related overdose deaths in 2017.


The New York Times: Growth of Health Care Spending Slowed Last Year

The growth of national health spending, which surged as millions of Americans gained coverage under the Affordable Care Act, slowed last year, the Trump administration said on Thursday.


Fox News: Doctors Caught Between Struggling Opioid Patients And Crackdown On Prescriptions

Their policy on prescribing opioids was changing, to go beyond federal guidelines aimed at the national overdose crisis that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.




The Boston Globe: House Approves Bill That Would Set Up Benefits For Locked Out Utility Workers

With locked out National Grid workers facing the loss of unemployment benefits in January, the Massachusetts House on Thursday approved and sent to the Senate a potentially precedent-setting bill calling for the state to set up benefits for any utility employee locked out in a labor dispute.


San Francisco Chronicle: California High Court Signals Possible Agreement With State On Worker Pension Rollback

Confronting a public pension system with rising deficits, the California Supreme Court seemed inclined Wednesday to approve some legislative reductions in future retirement benefits for hundreds of thousands of state and local government workers, but not the far-reaching cuts backed by Gov. Jerry Brown.


Chicago Tribune: Illinois Lawmakers Push Back Against Trump Administration's Expansion Of Short-Term Health Insurance

Illinois consumers will only be able to use controversial, short-term health insurance plans for about six months at a time now that the state legislature has voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of a bill that sets that limit.


Star Tribune: Telemedicine Sees A Dramatic Rise In Minnesota, With Urban-Rural Contrast

The popularity of telemedicine has soared among Minnesotans in the past decade, with urban dwellers seeking the convenience of routine care online and rural residents video chatting with distant doctors for everything from prescription refills to psychiatric sessions to cancer consults.