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The Supreme Court Confronts a Public Health Challenge: Homeless Encampments

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Homelessness is a soaring public health crisis, with a record 653,000 unhoused people in the United States, according to federal estimates. Tent and recreational vehicle encampments have exploded in recent years, crowding streets and sidewalks from Portland, Ore., to New York. In California, where roughly a third of all the nation鈥檚 homeless people live, doctors […]

Opposition to Medicaid Expansion Thaws in an Unexpected Place: The Deep South

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For more than a decade, some Southern states have resisted Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, even though data suggest it could help their residents. Today, the large majority of uninsured Americans who would gain coverage under Medicaid expansion 鈥 and who would benefit from affordable access to care 鈥 live in non-expansion states […]

Nikki Haley Wants 鈥楥onsensus鈥 on Contraception. It鈥檚 Not That Easy.

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Nikki Haley, the last candidate standing between Donald Trump and the GOP presidential nomination, insists that being 鈥渦napologetically pro-life鈥 doesn鈥檛 make her anti-birth control. 鈥淟et鈥檚 find consensus,鈥 she urged at a GOP presidential debate in November. 鈥淟et鈥檚 make sure we make contraception accessible.鈥  If only consensus were that easy. In some conservative circles, contraception is […]

States Get in on the Prior Authorization Crackdown

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Last month, my colleague Lauren Sausser told you about the Biden administration鈥檚 crackdown on insurance plans鈥 prior authorization policies, with new rules for certain health plans participating in federal programs such as Medicare Advantage or the Affordable Care Act marketplace. States are getting in on the action, too. Prior authorization, sometimes called pre-certification, requires patients […]

The No Surprises Act Comes With Some Surprises

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The No Surprises Act, the landmark law intended to protect patients from surprise out-of-network medical bills, has come with, well, some surprises. A little more than two years after it took effect, there鈥檚 good and bad news about how it鈥檚 working. First, it鈥檚 important to note that the law has successfully protected millions of patients […]

Senators Weigh Whether Health Care AI Needs a Leash

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The Senate Finance Committee contemplated the future yesterday: artificial intelligence and its potential applications to health care. And it turns out the future looks an awful lot like the past and present: Democrats want regulations. And the industry wants money. 鈥淭here are a lot of reasons to be optimistic,鈥 Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) […]

Even in Bright-Blue California, Abortion Is on the Ballot

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The race to replace the late Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein is in full swing in California. Although the state enshrined abortion rights into its constitution, the prospect of a national abortion ban has the candidates vying for a Senate seat putting a spotlight on reproductive rights. Or, at least the Democrats are. Steve Garvey, a […]

Halfway Through 鈥楿nwinding,鈥 Medicaid Enrollment Is Down About 10 Million

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We鈥檙e halfway through the Medicaid 鈥渦nwinding,鈥 in which states are dropping people from the government health insurance program for the first time since the pandemic began. Millions of people have been dumped from the rolls since April, often for procedural issues like failing to respond to notices or return paperwork. But at the same time, […]

Advocates Say a Practice Harms Disabled Children, Yet Congressional Action Is Stalled

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In the photos, a 9-year-old boy with autism appears barricaded between cubbies and furniture stacked near the walls of a North Carolina classroom. His mother, Erin McGrail, said her son was physically restrained at least 14 times while in third grade at Morrisville Elementary School. She said she learned details of his seclusion only after […]

Is the Nation鈥檚 Primary Care Shortage as Bad as Federal Data Suggest?

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Federal policymakers have been trying for a long time to lure more primary care providers to understaffed areas. The Biden administration boosted funding in 2022 to address shortages and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) pushed sweeping primary care legislation in 2023. But when 素人色情片Health News set out last year to map where the primary care workforce shortages really are 鈥 and where […]

A Legal Battle Over Herring Fishing Has Big Implications for Health Care

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What do herring fishing and health policy have in common? Quite a bit, it turns out, owing to a case now before the Supreme Court. If the justices rule as expected, based on this month鈥檚 oral arguments, they could dramatically change the way federal health agencies operate. 鈥淭he upheaval caused 鈥 would be immense,鈥 argues […]

The FTC Escalates Biden鈥檚 Fight Against Drug Prices

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It鈥檚 daggers out at the Federal Trade Commission in its fight against anticompetitive practices in health care. This past year, it has issued more stringent guidelines to block and discourage hospital mergers, and it investigated practices by middlemen in the drug supply chain. Now drug manufacturers themselves are in the agency鈥檚 crosshairs. In November, the FTC challenged the validity of more […]

Medicare Advantage Is Popular, but Some Beneficiaries Feel Buyer鈥檚 Remorse

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Medicare Advantage plans are booming 鈥 30.8 million of the 60 million Americans with Medicare are now enrolled in the private plans rather than the traditional government-run program. But a little-known fact: Once you鈥檙e in a Medicare Advantage plan, you may not be able to get out. Traditional Medicare usually requires beneficiaries to pay 20 […]

Climate Change Raises Pressure on Biden To Keep Workers Cooler

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With climate change posing rising threats to human health, the Biden administration is drafting federal rules to protect construction crews, warehouse workers, delivery drivers and the rest of America鈥檚 workforce from extreme heat. The regulatory effort has been years in the making, and its fate is far from certain. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration […]

Biden Cracks Down on Prior Authorization 鈥 But There Are Limits

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More than a year after it was initially proposed, the Biden administration announced a final rule yesterday that will change how insurers in federal programs such as Medicare Advantage use prior authorization 鈥 a long-standing system that prevents many patients from accessing doctor-recommended care. 鈥淲hen a doctor says a patient needs a procedure, it is […]

Alex Azar鈥檚 Unusual Spin Through the Revolving Door

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Washington鈥檚 infamous revolving door took an unusual turn for former Health and Human Services secretary Alex Azar. Azar spent about a decade with pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Co. before coming to the nation鈥檚 capital to lead HHS in the Trump administration. But in September 2020, just a couple of months before former president Donald […]

The AMA Wants a Medicare Cut Reversed 鈥 And Lawmakers To Stay Out of Care

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Congress is back this week and feverishly working on a bipartisan agreement to fund the government for the rest of the 2024 fiscal year. Ahead of a potential vote, I spoke with Jesse Ehrenfeld, the president of the American Medical Association, the nation鈥檚 largest lobby group for doctors, about his organization鈥檚 priorities in Washington.  Some […]

Will CMS Crack Down on Prior Authorization?

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There鈥檚 the Idaho doctor whose infant daughter developed a brain tumor. A woman in Southern California who waited months for an MRI before dying in the hospital. And a North Carolina patient who has trigeminal neuralgia 鈥 a condition so painful it鈥檚 commonly called the 鈥渟uicide disease.鈥 They all have something in common, aside from […]

鈥楩orever Chemicals鈥 Contaminate America鈥檚 Freshwater Fish

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Gone fishing? Depending on the lake, your catch may not be safe to eat.  A group of chemicals collectively known as PFAS are found in hundreds of consumer goods, including dental floss, rain jackets and nonstick cookware. Over decades, these chemicals have spewed from manufacturing plants and landfills into local ecosystems, polluting surface water and […]

Utah Survey Shows Why So Many People Were Dumped From Medicaid

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It鈥檚 one of the biggest mysteries in health policy: What happened to millions of Americans kicked out of Medicaid last year? A survey conducted for state officials in Utah, obtained by 素人色情片Health News, holds some clues. Like many states, Utah terminated Medicaid coverage for a large share of enrollees whose eligibility was reevaluated in […]