KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

First Edition: June 29, 2010

Today's health policy headlines include reports about health reform implementation and budget developments at the state level.

Insuring Your Health: Part-Time Workers To Get Help On Health Insurance – But Not Now
In this Kaiser Health News consumer column, Michelle Andrews writes: "Sarah Rose Nordgren works 25 to 30 hours a week as a waitress at an upscale restaurant in Chapel Hill, N.C. She also tutors high- schoolers on their college entrance essays and has an editorial internship at a book publisher. But if something were to go seriously wrong with her health, she'd be in trouble because none of her three jobs offers health insurance" (Kaiser Health News).

Health On The Hill: June 28, 2010
Kaiser Health News staff writer Mary Agnes Carey and Politico's Sarah Kliff talk with KFF's Jackie Judd about this week's health policy news on Capitol Hill, including the upcoming deadlines regarding high risk pools and the launch of a new web portal to provide consumers with information about health insurance plans (Kaiser Health News). Read the transcript.

States' Mixed Reaction To Reform
Governors and state legislatures are beginning to make the key decisions that will affect how the health care reform law will be implemented in their states, with the potential to determine the legislation's success or failure (Politico).

States Struggle To Pass Budgets Without Stimulus
Congress was poised to extend some funding to states through June 2011, including $35.5 billion for unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless and $16 billion for Medicaid, the public health care program for the poor. But the measure died in the Senate earlier this month, blowing a hole in the states' budgets and bouncing thousands of unemployed workers off the rolls (The Associated Press).

Despite Aging Baby Boomers, NIH Devotes Only 11 Percent To Elderly Studies
The health needs of tens of millions of aging baby boomers threaten to overwhelm the nation's hospitals and caregivers within a decade or two, but the geriatric tidal wave does not appear to have been fully recognized at the National Institutes of Health (The New York Times).

High Court Won't Review San Fran Health Care Plan
The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected a business-led challenge to a universal health care program in San Francisco that has enrolled more than 53,000 people who lacked health insurance (The Associated Press).

Pain Doctors Want Drug Tracking
More than a hundred pain management specialists are in Washington this week to warn lawmakers about the dangers of prescription drug abuse (The Hill).

Two New Studies Point To Risks For People Taking The Diabetes Drug Avandia
Two teams of researchers have produced powerful new evidence that the diabetes drug Avandia increases the risk of heart problems and strokes, renewing questions about the safety of the medication (The Washington Post).

Diabetes Drug Poses Safety Test For FDA
The Obama administration is facing its first big decision about whether to remove a drug from the market. The issue raises questions not only about the particular drug -– a diabetes pill called Avandia –- but also about the administration's philosophy on these hotly contested public safety calls (NPR).

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