KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

State News: Ex-Anthem Blue Cross President Speaks Out; Clinics To Fill In N.M. Primary Care Gap

The Los Angeles Times: "The abrupt resignation last month of Anthem Blue Cross' president is offering a glimpse of an internal struggle that has roiled California's largest for-profit health insurer for months. Leslie Margolin was the public face of Anthem this year when it sought to raise individual insurance rates as much as 39%. The move triggered a backlash in Washington and Sacramento, where lawmakers accused Margolin and her corporate bosses at insurance giant WellPoint Inc. of trying to gouge unknowing policyholders. … Margolin says she had been chagrined over the rate hikes for the last year and had worked internally to get Indianapolis-based WellPoint to rescind them or scale them back, and to apologize" (Helfand, 8/10).

Farmington [N.M.] Daily Times: "As demand for medical treatment and health care services is largely unaffected by economic conditions, many regional hospitals and urgent care providers have opted to expand services while economic times are tough. This year both San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington and Mercy Regional Medical Center in Durango are opening doors at new facilities in an effort to expand health care offerings across the region. ... Demand for urgent care services in all Four Corners communities is being driven by an increasing shortage of primary care physicians" (Monteleone, 8/9).

The Miami Herald: "On Monday -- after numerous meetings, polls and focus groups -- the recently-formed Children's Movement of Florida will announce its first state campaign, dubbed Milk Party, aimed at educating political, business and civic leaders, as well as parents, about the urgent need to make the children's well-being and education the state's highest priority. … To carry out this first phase, the movement has raised $1 million from private donors. No tax dollars will be used during any phase of the project" (Roth, 8/9).

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