Happy Friday! Welcome to the inaugural version of KHN’s Friday Breeze. As the publication editor at Kaiser Health News, I learn a whole lot of well being tales per week, and I’m right here every Friday to sum up the extra essential ones — attention-grabbing reads, information that can have lasting affect, distinctive takes on the large issues within the trade. I wade by them so that you don’t should.
So right here’s what you’ll want to know from this week.
The large information is that the official enrollment numbers for the well being legislation got here in, and regardless of the gloom and doom predictions from the autumn, they’re solely barely down from final 12 months. (We already knew this, however now it’s official!) The “list price” on premiums are up, however due to a bizarre glitch with how subsidies now work (since President Donald Trump reduce off funds to insurers) lots of people are literally paying much less. That appears dandy now, however consultants are fearful in regards to the lasting ramifications of what’s often called “silver loading” (aka extra individuals shopping for into that center tier and ending up with free or very low cost plans). While issues are working effectively in the mean time, some warn there’s a reckoning coming. Meanwhile, Democrats hope a special form of reckoning is coming with the midterms. Here are among the prime tales:
The New York Times: The Final Obamacare Tally Is In. About 400,000 Fewer People Signed Up This Year. The Associated Press: Premiums Shoot Up, But Many Are Paying Less For ‘Obamacare’ Modern Healthcare: Is Silver-Loading The Silver Bullet? Actuaries Wary Of Long-Term Impact Of CSR Cutoff Bloomberg: Democrats Aim To Turn Obamacare Into Asset From Burden In 2018 Bloomberg: What It’s Like Living Without Health Insurance In America
There was lots of motion on the opioid disaster this week: from the surgeon common making a uncommon public well being advisory that family members of these with an dependancy must be carrying anti-overdose remedy in the identical vein as studying CPR; to research linking looser marijuana legal guidelines and fewer opioid prescriptions; to Food and Drug Administration chief Scott Gottlieb imploring the “internet ecosystem” to step as much as curb the tide of unlawful medicine. We’re additionally going to see lots of deal with the difficulty in Congress as lawmakers work towards a bundle they need to get to the ground in May — which might give either side a win they might speak up within the fall whereas campaigning for the midterms.
NPR: Surgeon General Urges More Americans To Carry Opioid Antidote The Washington Post: FDA Commissioner Calls On Internet Providers To Help Police Opioid Offerings The Associated Press: Studies Link Legal Marijuana With Fewer Opioid Prescriptions Stat: Is Drug Industry Friend Or Foe? In Addiction Policy Circles, Depends Who You Ask The Hill: GOP Panel Proposes Lifting Medicaid Limits On Opioid Care
In trade information, the potential merger between Walmart and Humana is making individuals nervous — particularly, hospitals which can be nonetheless reeling from different proposed acquisitions and new main gamers coming into the panorama.
Over in pharmaceutical land: Some are fearful that the China tariffs might contribute to the already daunting downside of skyrocketing drug costs; and take a look at this fascinating profile on two males who crisscross the nation and depart greater costs of their wake.
If you haven’t been following Stat’s protection of the National Institutes of Health-alcohol story, you’re lacking out. An investigation revealed that NIH researchers had been wooing the alcohol trade to fund a examine that confirmed the advantages of average ingesting. But the reporters have continued to dig deeper and have discovered extra layers of moral complexity.
Although the story has been resolved, I need to flag BuzzFeed’s investigation into Grindr sharing its customers’ HIV statuses with outdoors firms. The app determined it could now not present that information, sustaining that the furor round it was a “misunderstanding of technology.” Either approach, it shines a lightweight on the vulnerabilities of placing well being care data into public forum-esque apps.
And another information to be careful for: Despite voters OK’ing Medicaid growth, Maine’s governor is refusing to use for federal funding, insisting that lawmakers work out a solution to pay for it; a have a look at how an workplace that offers with refugees has turn into a battleground for abortion; in California, it’s the single-payer-or-bust die-hards versus the realists who need to see incremental steps towards common protection; and motion on each gay-conversion bans and physician-assisted dying in state legislatures (each points have been gaining traction this 12 months).
The Associated Press: Lawmakers Start to Debate Medicaid Expansion Funding The New York Times: Under Trump, An Office Meant To Help Refugees Enters The Abortion Wars Politico: California’s Path To Universal Health Care Pits Pragmatists Against Single-Payer Holdouts The Associated Press: Maryland Lawmakers Vote To Ban ‘Gay Conversion Therapy’ The Associated Press: Medically Assisted Suicide Becomes Legal In Hawaii
Finally, simply in case you had been fearful about final week’s ruling that espresso in California has to come back with a most cancers warning, public consultants say go forward and continue to drink up. Have an incredible weekend!