Longer Looks: King V. Burwell, Medical Records and Antibiotic Resistance
Each week, KHN's Shefali Luthra finds interesting reads from around the Web.
The End Of Obamacare?
Under the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, the states were invited to create exchanges, or online marketplaces, where uninsured individuals must buy insurance plans. In the states that opted not to create one—either for logistical reasons or out of political opposition to the law—consumers were told to use an exchange created by the federal government through Healthcare.gov. Florida is one of these states. (Olga Khazan, 3/4)
The Wall Street Journal:
The Next Marketing Frontier: Your Medical Records
Dr. Treadwell isn’t the only one who is pleased with the alerts. So is Merck & Co., which pays for the notifications sent to Dr. Treadwell and 20,000 other health-care providers. Medical-record software startup Practice Fusion Inc., which sells the alerts and displays them through its software, said that during a four-month study period ending in August, it observed a 73% increase in vaccinations—amounting to 25,000 additional treatments—compared with a control group. The company didn’t disclose its fees for delivering sponsored alerts but said it doesn’t take a cut of sales that result. (Elizabeth Dwoskin, 3/3)
The New York Times Magazine:
Obamacare Goes To The Supreme Court
On Wednesday morning, the United States Supreme Court will hear arguments in King v. Burwell, the case that could decide the fate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the landmark “Obamacare” legislation passed by Congress in 2010. Emily Bazelon, a staff writer for the magazine, and Adam Liptak, The Times’s Supreme Court correspondent, have been exchanging emails about what’s at stake in the case and how the court might approach its decision. (Emily Bazelon and Adam Liptak, 3/3)
Our C-Section Rate Won't Budge—Is It Because We Don't Trust Women's Hormones?
For the third year in a row, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the number of women who give birth by Caesarean section in the United States is hovering at around one-third of births. That's a 60 percent increase in 15 years, and a public health crisis. Why hasn't the number budged? Last year, it seemed that every professional organization publicly agreed (the obstetricians here, the nurses here, and the nurse-midwives here) that this is a problem and took responsibility for their part. They blamed, in a word, over-treatment. (Jennifer Block, 3/3)
The Accidental Case Against Obamacare
Unlike the last time conservatives took Obamacare to the Supreme Court — when the Republican party, major activists, and 26 attorneys general joined forces — the new challenge has a more surprising backstory for a big case. It is the result of the key players working loosely, overcoming lawsuit fatigue in conservative circles, pushing an argument that seems more technical than substantive, and even a bit of luck. (Sarah Kliff, 3/2)
Congress Could Help Solve Antibiotic Resistance. This Congresswoman Explains Why It Won't.
Rep. Louise Slaughter, the only microbiologist in Congress, has been leading the push to stop the overuse of antibiotics on farms through the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA). This is a hugely important aim: 80 percent of antibiotics in the US are used on animals. So far, Slaughter has met resistance at every turn. PAMTA has been re-introduced four times since she took it over in 2007, repeatedly dying on the house floor. (Julia Belluz, 2/28)