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Latest Morning Briefing Stories

Tactical Decision To Link Medicaid Expansion To Cigarette Tax May Have Tanked Montana Ballot Initiative

KHN Morning Briefing

Supporters thought that strategy would boost their effort with voters, but it attracted Big Tobacco into the fight. As more people look to the success of the three states who were successful in expanding Medicaid through ballot initiatives, the strategy may offer lessons for 2020. Meanwhile, since work requirements were added to Arkansas’ Medicaid program earlier this year, more than 17,000 beneficiaries have lost coverage.

Johnson & Johnson Launches Defensive Measures Against Accusations That It Knew About Asbestos For Decades

KHN Morning Briefing

The company, which is reeling from a Reuters investigation that showed company leaders were aware of asbestos since the 1970s, took out a full-page ad — headlined “Science. Not sensationalism.” — in newspapers including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. The ad asserts that J&J has scientific evidence its talc is safe and beneficial to use.

The Government Should Get Into The Generic-Drug Making Business To Curb High Prices, Sen. Warren Says

KHN Morning Briefing

Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s bill would establish an Office of Drug Manufacturing that would be required to manufacture at least 15 different generic drugs in its first year where the agency determines there is a failure in the market. Meanwhile, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) is also introducing legislation geared toward high drug costs and increasing transparency in Medicaid funding.

Republicans’ Muted Response To Judge’s Ruling Highlights Shifting Politics, Attitudes About Health Law

KHN Morning Briefing

In theory, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor’s declaration that the health law is unconstitutional without the individual mandate tax should be a victory for Republicans who have been waging a war against the ACA for years. In practice, experts say it may be putting the party in a “lose-lose scenario” with voters. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump maintains that the ruling presents an opportunity for lawmakers to create a better health care system.

‘In Light Of Ambiguity,’ States Want Judge To Clarify Whether Health Law Ruling Has Any Immediate Legal Effect

KHN Morning Briefing

In their filing to U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and other Democratic attorneys general also asked for permission to immediately appeal’s his decision that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. For its part, HHS says that since O’Connor had not issued a final judgment or an injunction, the department “will continue administering and enforcing all aspects of the ACA as it had before the court issued its decision.” Meanwhile, Democrats prepare to act to protect the law as soon as they take the majority in the House next month.

Is Fentanyl As Dangerous As A Loaded Gun? For Police Responding To 911 Calls, It’s Being Treated That Way

KHN Morning Briefing

With reports on the rise of fentanyl’s lethality, even through accidental exposure, people are being prosecuted for endangering the lives of police officers who respond to emergency calls. Experts, however, say that the science behind accidental exposure doesn’t support the extreme measures. Other news from the national drug epidemic includes: secret OxyContin documents, recovery in a small town, naloxone, a massive drug operation and more.

7-Year-Old Migrant Girl’s Death To Be Investigated By Internal Homeland Security Watchdog

KHN Morning Briefing

The girl’s death while in Border Patrol custody sparked a firestorm over the care and conditions of detention facilities holding migrant children. The Trump administration called the incident “horrific,” but eschewed responsibility for the girl’s death. Meanwhile, her father is questioning the official report of what happened to his daughter.

Democrats Blast ACA Ruling, Vow To Fight It ‘Tooth And Nail’

KHN Morning Briefing

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he will try to force a Senate vote to intervene in the federal case while House Democratic leaders plan to order House counsel to defend the health law as soon as they take control of the chamber next year. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama tried to calm any fears that the decision could ultimately strike down his signature domestic achievement.

With Shifting Public Attitudes About Health Law, Ruling Puts GOP In The Hot Seat: ‘Politically, I Don’t Think That It Helps Us At All’

KHN Morning Briefing

Republicans just spent months making campaign promises to retain popular provisions of the health law, such as protections of preexisting conditions coverage. The decision to invalidate those measures in a case pushed by Republican attorneys general ties the party, politically, to a decision undercutting those promises. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump touted the decision, calling it “a great ruling for our country.”

What’s Next?: ‘The Main Effect Right Now Is Just A Tremendous Amount Of Confusion’

KHN Morning Briefing

The judge’s ruling, practically speaking, won’t have an immediate impact on the way the health law operates. With enrollment closing on Saturday, the Trump administration said the court decision has “no impact to current coverage or coverage in a 2019 plan.” But the case, seemingly bound for the Supreme Court, now threatens to complicate a wide array of policies and send a shock wave through a marketplace that’s been in upheaval for years.