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February 27 2014

08:00

February 24 2014

07:44

Op-Ed Columnist: Health Care Horror Hooey

New York Times - Feb. 24 (Opinion) - Op-Ed Columnist: Health Care Horror Hooey

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Tags: Health Care

February 12 2014

08:00

Insurers now outspending Kochs’ group on Obamacare ads

Washington Post - By Sandhya Somashekhar - Feb. 12 (News) - Much has been made about Americans for Prosperity's prodigious spending on an ad campaign opposed to the new health-care law. But another player, which is casting the program in a different light, is giving the conservative advocacy group a run for its money: the health insurance industry. Companies such as Cigna and Kaiser Permanente poured about $40 million into television ads specifically related to Obamacare between Dec. 1 and Feb. 8, according to ad tracking firm Kantar Media. That is far more than AFP, which as of last week had dropped about $27 million on ads since August attacking politicians who supported the program.

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February 06 2014

08:00

A Lot Of Media Outlets Botched The CBO's Obamacare Report

Huffington Post - By Jack Mirkinson - Feb. 06 (News Analysis) - The Congressional Budget Office issued a report on Tuesday that said that as many as 2 million people could exit the workforce thanks to the Affordable Care Act. The reasons for this, the CBO said, were varied, but it stressed that the economy would see "a net decline in the amount of labor that workers choose to supply, rather than...a net drop in businesses’ demand for labor," thanks to, for instance, people choosing to quit jobs they didn't like but were only staying in because of their health care benefits. That's not how a lot of media outlets reported the news, however. A lot of them said that the report was warning that Obamacare would kill over 2 million jobs—a notion at odd's with the CBO's conclusion that some workers would choose not to work.

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January 28 2014

08:00

The Five Worst Things About The New Republican Proposal To Replace Obamacare

Think Progress - By Sy Mukherjee - Jan. 28 (Opinion) - The plan is a rehash of old conservative proposals that deregulate the insurance industry and pass costs onto consumers.The post The Five Worst Things About The New Republican Proposal To Replace Obamacare appeared first on ThinkProgress.

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January 27 2014

15:44

Meet 330 Lawmakers Who Made 2013 "A Terrible Year for Women's Health"

Mother Jones - By Jaeah Lee, Molly Redden - Jan. 27 - Looking back at the legislative landscape in 2013, you have to give anti-choice lawmakers points for creativity. In South Carolina last year, one male senator managed to introduce six different bills making it harder for women to get abortions. In Arizona, a bill about child therapy morphed into a law that opens abortion clinics up to surprise state inspections without a warrant. In Iowa, a rape victim now needs the governor to sign off on Medicaid funding for her abortion. And in North Carolina, a new "Motorcycle Safety Act" contains more provisions about abortion than it does about motorcycle safety. In all, lawmakers in 22 states enacted 70 new provisions that curbed reproductive rights—that's more new abortion restrictions than there were in any year but 2011. Earlier this month, the Guttmacher Institute, a think tank that supports abortion rights, reported that more new restrictions have passed in the last three years than in the entire previous decade. "[It] was a terrible year for women's health," says Gretchen Borchelt, the director of state reproductive health policy for the National Women's Law Center. Republicans' sweeping gains in the 2010 elections gave them control of 25 state legislatures, power that was often used to push through abortion restrictions. "One of the biggest trends we saw was politicians running roughshod over the political process," Borchelt says. "We saw that in Texas where they kept calling special sessions to ram through an omnibus abortion bill." Using data from the Guttmacher Institute, BillTrack50, and Open States, Mother Jones analyzed 178 anti-abortion bills* proposed in 32 states. In all, more than 330 state lawmakers proposed 476 provisions to restrict women's access to abortions and reproductive services. Here are some of the key results—including what to expect in 2014. To view the full data, click here. 1. A series of incremental attacks As in previous years, state legislators used an incremental strategy to chip away at abortion rights. The most popular types of anti-abortion bills were bans on  coverage in the Affordable Care Act's insurance exchanges; bills outlawing "sex-selective" abortions; mandatory ultrasound bills; bills imposing technical restrictions with the aim of shuttering abortion clinics (known as TRAP laws); and bans on abortions from 20 weeks after fertilization. Lawmakers in five states passed bills barring the Obamacare exchanges from offering plans with abortion coverage, bringing the total number of states with such bans to 23. Borchelt expects the fight over ACA exchanges to resume this year in states such as West Virginia, where advocates have so far held such legislation at bay. Bills banning sex-selective abortions—which often propose fines or jail time for doctors who perform abortions when the patient's decision is motivated by the gender of a fetus—were a fairly new trend, says Borchelt. So far, seven states outlaw sex-selective abortions, with five states—Arizona, Kansas, North Carolina, North Dakota, and Oklahoma—enacting those bans after 2010. Civil rights groups, such as the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum, say these bans perpetuate stereotypes about Asian communities and encourage doctors to interrogate women about their reproductive choices based on their race. In May, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a suit in Arizona challenging the ban in the state, which also prohibits race-selective abortions, on the grounds that it is discriminatory. Rep. Zoe Lofgren/Twitter 2. Anti-abortion all stars  Federal lawmakers made news last year when an all-male House committee convened a hearing on abortion (twice). Male legislators dominate in proposing anti-abortion bills in the states, too. Of the 330 state lawmakers to sponsor such measures last year, 257—more than 75 percent—were men. Seventy-three were women. (According to the National Conference of State Legislators, about 75 percent of state lawmakers in 2013 were male.) About 1 in every 25 female legislators, and 1 in every 20 male legislators, sponsored an anti-abortion bill.) The vast majority of the sponsors, 310 in all, were Republicans; 20 were Democrats. In 2013, about one in four state legislators who sponsored an abortion-related bill—92 lawmakers altogether—sponsored more than one. South Carolina state Sen. Lee Bright, with six bills, sponsored more anti-abortion legislation in 2013 than any other lawmaker in the country—"so many that it's hard to remember them all," Bright says. His proposals include various fetal personhood bills, and a bill banning abortions if the provider can detect a heartbeat. "We would like to see abortion non-existent in the US," Bright, who is challenging Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham in the primary this year, tells Mother Jones. Close on Bright's heels was Alison Littell McHose, a Republican assemblywoman in New Jersey who sponsored five measures in 2013. In addition to her anti-abortion activism, McHose has raised at least $22,126 in an online campaign to nullify the Affordable Care Act in New Jersey. 3. What 2014 holds Borchelt predicts many of the types of bills that were popular in 2013 will resurface in 2014. Although federal courts have consistently struck down bans on abortion at 20 weeks from fertilization, she says, that probably won't stop lawmakers from continuing to introduce them. "They are eternally optimistic that they can change the Constitution on this issue," she says. Although a few more states may see attempts to ban abortion coverage from state exchanges, Borchelt notes reproductive rights advocates are more fearful of a rash of bills to ban private insurers from offering abortion coverage in 2014. Only a handful of states considered such measures in in 2013. What's not clear is whether abortion opponents will be as active in 2014 as they were last year. Election years tend to cut the legislative calendar short. "And in theory, lawmakers don't spend as much time as on what we would deem controversial in election years," says Borchelt. "So we shouldn't see as much action in 2014…But we were surprised by what we saw in 2012." *The data is not a comprehensive set of every anti-abortion bill introduced in 2013; it includes anti-abortion bills introduced in more than one state. Each bill was categorized based on one provision restricting access to an abortion. Many bills contained multiple abortion-related provisions. Additional data reporting by Hannah Levintova, Nina Liss-Schultz, and Brett Brownwell.

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Tags: Health Care
08:00

Prices soar for some generic drugs

San Francisco Chronicle - By Victoria Colliver - Jan. 27 (News) - Nosebleed-level price increases of more than 100 percent, 1,000 percent and, in some cases, 6,000 percent and above are making it difficult for pharmacists to fill some prescriptions because insurance companies have been slow to adjust their reimbursements to reflect the price spikes. Large chain pharmacies have felt the pinch, but it's been especially hard on independent pharmacists.

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08:00

Sen. Barbara Boxer: What Century Are You Living In? An Open Letter to House Republicans

Huffington Post - By Sen. Barbara Boxer - Jan. 27 (Opinion) - What century are you living in? Your "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" is a solution in search of a problem. Despite your attempts to confuse people with the bill's misleading title, federal funds cannot be used for abortion under the Affordable Care Act.

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January 25 2014

08:00

January 24 2014

08:00

Seniors Paying $7,125 a Month to be Neglected? What Happened When Wall Street Got Involved in Assisted Living

ProPublica - By A.C. Thompson, Jonathan Jones - Jan. 24 (Investigative Report) - Here are a few things the brochure didn’t mention: Just months earlier, Emeritus supervisors had audited the facility’s process for handling medications. It had been found wanting in almost every important regard. And, in truth, those “specially trained” staffers hadn’t actually been trained to care for people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, a violation of California law. The facility relied on a single nurse to track the health of its scores of residents, and the few licensed medical professionals who worked there tended not to last long. During the three years prior to Joan’s arrival, Emerald Hills had cycled through three nurses and was now employing its fourth. At least one of those nurses was alarmed by what she saw, telling top Emeritus executives — in writing — that Emerald Hills suffered from “a huge shortage of staff” and was mired in“total dysfunction.”

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January 09 2014

08:00

December 29 2013

08:00

Beneath health law’s botched rollout is basic benefit for millions of uninsured Americans

Washington Post - By Lena H. Sun, Amy Goldstein - Dec. 29 (Special Report) - Adam Peterson’s life is about to change. For the first time in years, he is planning to do things he could not have imagined. He intends to have surgery to remove his gallbladder, an operation he needs to avoid another trip to the emergency room. And he’s looking forward to running a marathon in mid-January along the California coast without constant anxiety about what might happen if he gets injured. ...

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December 25 2013

08:00

Op-Ed Columnist: When I’m Sixty-Four

New York Times - By By ROGER COHEN - Dec. 25 (Opinion) - If the Beatles sang about getting old today, the age might need to be increased by a few decades. But radical life extension would take the world into dangerous territory.

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08:00

Officials says Obamacare enrollment effort to stretch past deadline

Los Angeles Times - By David Lauter - Dec. 25 (News) - Obama administration officials said that even after Tuesday's extended deadline, they will try to arrange coverage starting Jan. 1 for people who have had trouble getting through the government's sometimes-balky enrollment website.US healthcare insurance help offered in run-up to deadlineBBC NewsAdministration eases off ObamaCare deadline, offers reprieve to those unable to ...Fox NewsAnother extension for those plagued by HealthCare.gov tech troublesCBS NewsReuters -NDTVall 908 news articles »

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Tags: Health Care

December 23 2013

08:00

Obama administration quietly extends health-care enrollment deadline by a day

Washington Post - By Amy Goldstein, Juliet Eilperin - Dec. 23 (News) - At midnight Monday, the official deadline arrives for Americans to sign up through the new federal health insurance exchange for health plans that begin Jan. 1. But, without any public announcement, Obama administration officials have changed the rules so that people will have an extra day to enroll, according to two individuals with knowledge of the switch. ...

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December 19 2013

08:00

An Epidemic of Attention Deficit Disorder

New York Times - By By THE EDITORIAL BOARD - Dec. 19 (Editorial) - The tactics used by pharmaceutical companies to drive up diagnosis and sales of their drugs were brazen, often misleading and sometimes deceitful.

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08:00

Does ACA Cover Volunteer Firefighters?

FactCheck - By Robert Farley - Dec. 19 (Fact Check) - Q: Will the Affordable Care Act force fire departments to provide health insurance to their volunteers? A: Not likely. The IRS has not addressed the issue, though it may shortly when [...]

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Tags: Health Care

December 18 2013

08:00

Blood Pressure Guidelines Can Be Loosened, Panel Says

New York Times - By Gina Kolata - Dec. 18 (News Report) - Blood Pressure Guidelines Can Be Loosened, Panel Says

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Tags: Health Care

December 16 2013

08:00

Medicaid Outpaces Private Plans

New York Times - By By THE EDITORIAL BOARD - Dec. 16 (Editorial) - Editorial: Medicaid Outpaces Private Plans

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December 11 2013

08:00

ALEC's "Institutional Corruption," From Backing Apartheid to Assault on Clean Energy, Public Sector

Democracy Now - By Amy Goodman - Dec. 11 (Special Report) - We discuss ALEC’s latest efforts, along with its historic opposition to divestment campaigns from apartheid South Africa, with Lisa Graves of the Center for Media and Democracy.

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