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Latest Morning Briefing Stories

Judges Rule Individual Mandate Is Unconstitutional, But Kick Case Back To Lower Court For Review Of Severability

KHN Morning Briefing

In a long-awaited decision, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans agreed with Judge Reed O’Connor that the individual mandate can no longer be viewed as a tax, and thus the requirement to buy insurance is unconstitutional. But the judges dodged a hard decision on whether that meant the whole law has to fall, sending it back to the lower courts for a closer look at whether the provision can be severed.

Health Highlights In Congress’ $1.4 Trillion Spending Bill: Tobacco Age, ‘Cadillac Tax,’ Medical Research And More

KHN Morning Briefing

Lawmakers released details Monday of a bipartisan deal that would allocate $1.4 trillion in federal spending for the remainder of the fiscal year to avoid a shutdown. Among other health-related measures, it includes a provision raising the minimum purchasing age for tobacco to 21, which advocates say is a “good step” toward a “substantial reduction” in smoking among young people. Media outlets cover the ins and outs of the bills and the ways they touch on health care.

Hospitals Aim To Bolster Communities’ Overall Health To Help Address Socio-Economic, Racial Inequities

KHN Morning Briefing

Health systems are trying innovative ways–like building a warehouse distribution facility and committing to hiring marginalized workers–to improve overall health outcomes. The push is part of a larger trend for health systems to tackle problems beyond just treating patients. In other hospital news: price transparency, co-ops, mental health care, a $1.8 billion settlement, and more.

Can Anyone Really Fix The Indian Health Service’s Chronic, Life-Threatening Problems? One Man Is Hoping He Can.

KHN Morning Briefing

Rear Adm. Weahkee, who tried to turn around a foundering IHS hospital in South Dakota, has been nominated to take over the agency that has been plagued with staffing shortages, quality of care complaints, allegations of abuse, and more. Several Native American groups have expressed support for Adm. Weahkee’s nomination. His Senate confirmation hearing is set for Wednesday.

White House Supports Surprise Medical Bills Plan, But That Doesn’t Mean It Will Be Smooth Sailing From Here On Out

KHN Morning Briefing

Efforts to address surprise medical bills had stalled until a bipartisan agreement emerged over this past weekend. The White House praised lawmakers’ “delicate work” to reach a deal, which is a compromise between two other strategies for dealing with the costs. But even with the White House’s support, question marks remain about whether the deal can be pushed through both chambers and sent to President Donald Trump by the end of the year.