KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

State Roundup: Colo. Uninsured, Underinsured Rates Skyrocket

A selection of stories from Colorado, Georgia, Minnesota, Iowa and Louisiana.

Health Policy Solutions (a Colorado news service): Uninsured Rate Jumps As Colorado Employers Cut Health Benefits
The Colorado Health Access Survey, a new report from The Colorado Trust and the Colorado Health Institute, has found that more than 1.5 million Coloradans – or nearly one in three residents – either have no health insurance or are underinsured, meaning they spend more than 10 percent of their income on out-of-pocket medical expenses. Just since the last survey two years ago, the percentage of employers offering health insurance has dropped to 57.8 percent this year from 63.7 (Kerwin McCrimmon, 11/16).

The Denver Post: Uninsured Grow: Survey Shows 16% Of Coloradans Lack Health Insurance 
The portion who are uninsured jumped from 14 percent of the population to 16 percent ... Anticipating arguments that the sample exaggerates the problem by counting people who only lose insurance for a few weeks, the survey said 60 percent of the uninsured lacked a policy for a whole year or more (Booth, 11/15).  

Modern Healthcare: Colo. Official Sued Over HealthOne Sale
A group of critics who fought the sale of a foundation's stake in a joint venture with Nashville-based HCA in Colorado is suing Colorado Attorney General John Suthers for approving the sale to HCA last month, according to a copy of the complaint (Galloro, 11/15).

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: A House Democrat To Sponsor Personhood Amendment
Today is the first day that bills can be pre-filed for next year’s session of the General Assembly. We’re told that two lawmakers intend to submit “personhood” resolutions – proposed constitutional amendments that would declare that life begins at fertilization, as would legal protection. All abortions would be banned; in vitro fertilization would be restricted (Galloway, 11/15).

Minnesota Public Radio: Gov. Dayton, Sen. Hann Continue To Spar Over Federal Health Grants 
The rancor grows between Gov. Mark Dayton and GOP state Sen. David Hann over the use of federal health grants. ... Hann questioned Dayton's authority to unilaterally use up to $28 million in grants. Hann, a strong opponent of President Barack Obama's health care law, took action to hold up unrelated federal grant money earlier this month. In response, the governor said Hann was guilty of "unconscionable behavior" (Stawicki, 11/ 15).

The Associated Press/Times-Picayune: LSU Signs With 4 Medicaid Health Providers
LSU's health division has signed on with four private health plans that would provide the care for some 900,000 of the state's Medicaid recipients beginning next year. Medicaid recipients in the first phase of a statewide roll-out must start Dec. 15 deciding with which of the plans they will enroll (11/15). 

Des Moines Register: Blue Zones Project Encourages Health, Offers Grants - Altoona, Bondurant Potential Recipients
Response to the Blue Zones Project from 84 Iowa communities proves Gov. Terry Branstad does not stand alone behind his Healthiest State Initiative. The Iowa public-private initiative, which Branstad presented in August, set the goal of becoming the healthiest state in the nation by 2016 (Meinch, 11/15).

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