User: flenvcenter Topic: Environmental Health-National
Category: Health System
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Doctors And Hospitals Tell Patients: Show Us The Money Before Treatment 7.12.2016 NPR News
As patients' share of medical bills has grown with the rise in deductibles, copays and coinsurance, providers have become laser focused on getting payments up front.
GOP Obamacare Strategy Could Unravel Markets Quickly, Report Warns 7.12.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Republicans who think their “ repeal and delay ” strategy for Obamacare won’t cause serious and immediate insurance disruptions should read a new report that came out early Wednesday morning. The report, from the nonpartisan  Urban Institute , predicts that state insurance markets will start to unravel almost immediately and that, as early as next year, the ranks of the uninsured will begin swelling. And if Republicans can’t come up with a replacement, the report says, the number of people without insurance could eventually rise by 20 million to 30 million people. Both predictions represent worst-case scenarios. But the findings echo warnings that experts and industry groups have been making with increasing urgency ― that taking the health care law off the books quickly is likely to destabilize insurance markets and that even a conservative “replacement” for Obamacare is likely to result in a combination of many more uninsured and weaker insurance coverage on the whole. Needless to say, this is not the ...
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Study: ‘Obamacare’ repeal-only would make 30M uninsured 7.12.2016 Seattle Times: Top stories

WASHINGTON (AP) — Repealing President Barack Obama’s health care law without a clear replacement risks making nearly 30 million people uninsured, according to a study released Wednesday. Republicans say that won’t happen because they are working on replacement legislation for a President Donald Trump to sign. Nonetheless, the complex two-stage strategy the GOP Congress is […]
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Soon-To-Expire Health Benefits For Coal Miners Are At The Center Of The Government Funding Fight 7.12.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON ― After more than a year of stalling, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday pushed to extend health benefits for retired coal miners and their widows in a government funding bill lawmakers hope to take up this week. A bipartisan group of senators has pressured McConnell for months to bring legislation that would direct $3 billion over the next 10 years into health care and pension funds for miners. Roughly 17,000 retired miners are set to lose their health care benefits later this month, and an additional 4,000 would early next year without congressional action. McConnell said he urged House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to include a measure that would extend at least the health benefits for another four months ― the length of the continuing resolution (CR) Congress needs to vote on by Dec. 9 to keep the government open. “I’ve spoken with the speaker on a number of occasions about an issue facing coal miner retirees like those I represent in Kentucky,” McConnell said on the ...
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Trump Tower security in stopgap spending bill 7.12.2016 Salt Lake Tribune
Washington • Lawmakers are tacking on money for security around Trump Tower in New York and funds for health care for retired coal miners to a stopgap spending bill that would avoid a government shutdown at week’s end. The temporary budget bill is scheduled to be unveiled Tuesday. It would keep federal agencies functioning into next spring, giving the new Congress and incoming president Donald Trump time to approve more than $1 trillion to fund federal agencies through the current government bud... <iframe src="http://www.sltrib.com/csp/mediapool/sites/sltrib/pages/garss.csp" height="1" width="1" > </frame>
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Democrats: McConnell fix for miners’ health care inadequate 7.12.2016 Seattle Times: Nation & World

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats on Tuesday blasted a proposal by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to temporarily protect health care benefits for thousands of retired coal miners. The benefits are set to expire at the end of the year, and McConnell said he is working with House Speaker Paul Ryan to include money for […]
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Our view: Question of council compensation 7.12.2016 Steamboat Pilot
Steamboat Springs voters could be deciding whether or not their city council members will continue to receive health insurance through the city as part of the council’s compensation plan. The Steamboat Springs City Council is considering putting its health insurance benefit to a vote. It’s time to put the insurance question on the ballot and time to take another look at council pay. The discussion about health insurance was raised by council members during a council retreat last week, and we encourage them to proceed with their initial plans and place the issue before voters next year. City Attorney Dan Foote said the option for the council to get health insurance through the city extends back to 1992, but he said the benefit was never approved by voters. Under the city’s charter, any change to the council’s salary or benefits must be voted upon by city residents, and this is the main reason we support letting voters have a say on the issue. Currently, five out of the seven council members get health ...
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Money for Trump Tower security part of stopgap spending bill 6.12.2016 Minnesota Public Radio: Politics
Lawmakers are tacking on money for security around Trump Tower in New York and funds for health care for retired coal miners to a stopgap spending bill that would avoid a government shutdown at week's end.
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For Cash-Strapped Workers, 'Insurance on Insurance' 6.12.2016 Wall St. Journal: US Business
As many workers struggle to pay rising health-care expenses, more employers are helping to cover out-of-pocket costs, and the insurance industry is offering a variety of supplemental or so-called gap policies.
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Buffalo Hospital Workers Get Their Money and Staffing Back 6.12.2016 Truthout.com
After giving something up in a previous contract, is it possible to win it back? It took a massive effort, but hospital workers in Buffalo proved it can be done. Catholic Health is one of the two local hospital chains that dominate western New York. Communications Workers (CWA) Locals 1133 and 1168 represent 6,900 of its employees in six bargaining units. Four years ago, Catholic Health cried poverty at the bargaining table. Threatened with layoffs, our unions reluctantly agreed to eliminate daily overtime (after eight or 12 hours, depending on the job -- of particular importance to part-timers), cost-of-living increases, bonus pay for nurses who came in on short notice, and seniority-based wage scales. After all these losses, many workers jumped ship for the union hospitals of competitor Kaleida, which offered better conditions and paid $6 to $8 more per hour. Instead of hiring to replace them, Catholic Health filled the gaps with temporary, non-union nurses -- who are unfamiliar with local policies and ...
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GOP's Health Reform Strategy Amounts to Repeal Without Replacement 6.12.2016 Truthout.com
The rather sketchy plans put forth to date by Republicans such as House Speaker Paul Ryan would not provide enough financial assistance to make coverage affordable, especially for low- and moderate-income people, many of whom would consequently end up uninsured. (Photo: Daniel Huizinga / Flickr ) Republican congressional leaders plan to move quickly in January to repeal the bulk of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without enacting a replacement plan to prevent the millions of people who have gained coverage through the ACA from becoming uninsured. Instead, the repeal bill will likely delay by two years or more the elimination of the ACA's Medicaid expansion and subsidies that help low- and moderate-income people buy marketplace coverage. But GOP leaders' claim that they will enact a replacement plan in the meantime that will be available when the ACA's coverage provisions expire isn't credible.  Republican leaders have had six years to put forth a replacement plan that matches the ACA's coverage and ...
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Repealing Obamacare? Here’s a Better Idea – Medicare for All 6.12.2016 Commondreams.org Views
RoseAnn DeMoro

Now that the dogged opponents of the Affordable Care Act have caught the Obamacare bus, transforming U.S. healthcare is back on the political agenda.

Repeal of the ACA will not curb the persistent, systemic inequities of our profit-focused healthcare system.

Tens of millions, even those with health insurance, still struggle with un-payable medical bills due to rising deductibles and co-pays and skyrocketing prescription drug costs and hospital charges.

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U.S. Supreme Court to hear case over Advocate Health pensions 6.12.2016 Chicago Tribune: Business
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that examines whether Advocate Health Care must follow a federal law designed to protect employee pensions — or whether its religious affiliation exempts it from that law. It's a case with implications for a number of religiously affiliated ...
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The VA's Woman Problem 6.12.2016 Mother Jones
Now that women can serve in combat roles in the US military, the number of female veterans is expected to climb in the coming years—and most of them will turn to the Department of Veterans Affairs for health care. A new  report by the Government Accountability Office raises some serious doubts as to whether the VA is fully prepared to handle this influx of female patients. Related: Is the VA Ready for an Influx of Female Veterans? The GAO stressed its concern about the VA's shortage of gynecologists and doctors equipped to provide sex-specific care like breast exams to female vets, a problem I reported in February . Almost one-third of VA medical centers and health care systems did not have an on-site gynecologist on staff at the end of the 2015 fiscal year, and about 17 percent of its community-based outpatient centers lacked a primary care doctor trained in women's issues. These shortages mean the VA Department "may face challenges ensuring that all women veterans have timely access to these ...
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Signed Out Of Prison But Not Signed Up For Health Insurance 6.12.2016 NPR News
Most of the state prison systems in the places that expanded Medicaid under Obamacare have come up short on enrolling exiting inmates, despite the fact that many of them are chronically ill.
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Repealing Obamacare? Here's a better idea - Medicare for all 6.12.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Now that the dogged opponents of the Affordable Care Act have caught the Obamacare bus, transforming U.S. healthcare is back on the political agenda. Repeal of the ACA will not curb the persistent, systemic inequities of our profit-focused healthcare system. Tens of millions, even those with health insurance, still struggle with un-payable medical bills due to rising deductibles and co-pays and skyrocketing prescription drug costs and hospital charges. Insurance networks sharply restrict patient choice. Millions remain without any health coverage, or simply avoid getting the care they need because they can't afford it - at great risk to their health. Disparities based on race, gender, age, or where you live remain rampant. Even advocates of repeal are fearful of the impact of throwing millions off the expanded Medicaid coverage or eroding the ACA crackdown on insurance industry abuses, such as barring coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. One widely promoted theme is to replace the tax ...
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Superbug infections must be listed on death certificate under proposed bill 6.12.2016 LA Times: Commentary

State Sen. Jerry Hill introduced a bill Monday that would require doctors to record antibiotic-resistant infections on death certificates if they played a role in the death.

Currently many deaths from infections acquired in hospitals and nursing homes are not publicly recorded, leaving health officials...

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Prosecutors: Truck stop chiropractor falsified health exams 6.12.2016 Seattle Times: Nation & World

ATLANTA (AP) — Federal authorities say they’ve charged a chiropractor operating out of an Atlanta truck stop with falsifying required medical exams for truckers. The exams are aimed at ensuring that drivers operate safely on the nation’s highways. Prosecutors say the probe began when federal investigators learned Anthony Lefteris conducts an average of 360 medical […]
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GOP Leader Makes Dubious Claim That More People Will Have Health Insurance Without Obamacare 6.12.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON ― House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) suggested on Monday that more people would have health insurance once Republicans repeal Obamacare ― and that Congress would be able to retain popular provisions requiring companies to insure people with pre-existing conditions. Asked how Republicans could be confident premiums wouldn’t skyrocket if they repealed the 2010 Affordable Care Act, McCarthy told reporters it came down to a “philosophical difference of belief.” “We believe with more people into the market, you get greater choice and that the demand is higher,” he said. “You allow those that can’t afford it to enter the same market where they have more options, that the price will go down.” Of course, there’s a similar concept animating Obamacare. The general idea is that by requiring people to get health insurance, more people ― including healthy people ― will sign up for benefits, thus lowering the overall cost for everyone. It’s impossible to precisely gauge what effect a GOP health ...
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Court Delays GOP Lawsuit To Gut Obamacare 6.12.2016 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
WASHINGTON ― A federal appeals court panel agreed Monday to the House Republicans’ request to hold off on further actions on their own lawsuit to eradicate financial assistance for the poorest people covered by Obamacare health insurance plans. House Republicans brought the lawsuit in 2014 , alleging that President Barack Obama ’s administration unlawfully is spending federal money on these subsidies without a congressional appropriation. President Barack Obama’s Justice Department contested the case, but a federal judge sided with the GOP in May, prompting an appeal.  But with President-elect Donald Trump poised to take office and with Republicans retaining control of Congress after Election Day, the House GOP last month asked the appeals court to postpone considering the case . Congressional Republicans are aiming for votes repealing key aspects of the Affordable Care Act next month and to work for up to three years assembling legislation to succeed it. At issue is extra help for the lowest-income ...
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