KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Roundup: Texas Insurance Exchange Proposal; Ill. Safety Net Hole; Iowa Abortion Decision

The Dallas Morning News: Texas House Bill Would Create State-Run Health Insurance Exchange
A key House GOP health policy writer has filed legislation to create a state-run health insurance exchange in Texas. A bill by Rep. John Zerwas, R-Katy, would create a Texas Health Insurance Connector, or simplified insurance market. It would serve as the state's insurance exchange as required under the federal health overhaul passed last year. ... Zerwas, an anesthesiologist, stressed that if Texas lawmakers don't act this session, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services would set up an insurance exchange for Texas (Garrett, 1/13).

Chicago Tribune: Man With Brain Injury Falls Through Cracks Of State Aid
After more than five years at a residential facility for brain-injury victims in Carbondale, [Patrick] Monahan returned to his mother's Chicago Ridge home last week, facing an uncertain future. Though he has the intellectual capacity of a 13-year-old, the state does not classify him as either developmentally disabled or mentally ill, so he has dropped through a crack in Illinois' social services network, losing all the state aid that covered his care for the past decade (Huppke, 1/13).

Des Moines Register: Board Won't Penalize Abortion Pill Provider
Iowa medical regulators have declined to punish a Planned Parenthood doctor for using a long-distance video system to provide abortion pills by remote control. ... (Abortion opponent Cheryl Sullenger) said the rejection of her group's complaint should fuel an effort in the state Legislature to outlaw telemedicine abortions. ... the issue would be one of two abortion debates in the Legislature this spring. The other will be a proposed ban on late-term abortions (Leys, 1/14).

Houston Chronicle: Med Board: Houston Pain Clinic Violates State Law
A Houston business has been barred from operating as a pain clinic because it is owned and managed by physician assistants and not a doctor as required by state law, the Texas Medical Board announced Wednesday. ... The official visit and subsequent suspension follows tighter regulations of pain management clinics in Texas and an increase in so-called "pill mill" raids (George, 1/12).

The Texas Tribune: The Stoke Belt: Bad Diets, Smoking Cause East Texans to Die Young
In a community where heavy eating and chain smoking are a way of life, where poverty, hard-headedness and even suspicion hinder access to basic health care, residents die at an average age of 73 - seven years earlier than the longest-living Texans, according to a preliminary county-by-county analysis by the University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. Black males live to be just 65 (Ramshaw, 1/14).

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