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Latest Morning Briefing Stories

More Than 300 Workers Have Filed Complaints With New Conscience Division At HHS

KHN Morning Briefing

HHS officials said the new division was necessary so health workers do not have to violate their religious or moral beliefs to do their jobs. Violations can result in a service provider losing government funding. In other news from HHS: an official is put on leave while the agency investigates his social media posts; and a lesbian couple sues after being denied the chance to become foster parents.

Trump Eases Limits On Short-Term Plans That Critics Call ‘Junk Insurance’ In Latest Blow To Health Law

KHN Morning Briefing

Short-term policies are intended for people who are between jobs, and are generally cheaper than insurance that meets the law’s requirements. But they offer significantly less protection to consumers. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said people buying these plans could be “one diagnosis away from disaster, discovering they have been paying for coverage that may not cover basic care such as cancer treatment.”

Some Gun Control Measures ‘On The Table’ For Trump Following Florida Shooting

KHN Morning Briefing

President Donald Trump has directed the Justice Department to issue regulations banning so-called bump stocks, which convert semiautomatic guns into automatic weapons. But people familiar with the conversations say he is mulling going further — and perhaps putting himself at odds with the NRA. Meanwhile, students are still reeling from the psychological toll of the mass shooting.

HHS Has Been Quietly Reversing Strides Made In Fostering, Protecting LGBT Heath Care

KHN Morning Briefing

The LGBT population can be vulnerable to discrimination in health care settings, but the Trump administration says the changes within HHS are part of an approach to include LGBT health as part of its broader strategy. Meanwhile, a top HHS communications official becomes the latest in the administration to move to the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

There’s Hope That Worst Of This Nasty Flu Season Might Actually Be Over

KHN Morning Briefing

While officials can’t say that the season has peaked yet, there is data showing that it has started to plateau. In related news: officials say three out of four children who died from the flu had not gotten a flu vaccine, and the company that makes FluMist wants the popular vaccine to make a comeback.

Politicians Talk Link Between Mental Health, Gun Violence. But What Are The Facts?

KHN Morning Briefing

The New York Times fact checks politicians’ rhetoric about mass shootings and mental health. And advocates are voicing frustrations over the misconception that the two are always connected. “The vast majority of gun violence is not attributable to mental illness,” said Dr. Louis Kraus, forensic psychiatry chief at Chicago’s Rush University Medical College.

Investigation In Aetna’s Approval Process Expands Into More States

KHN Morning Briefing

The inquiry kicked off after statements by a former medical director came to light that he never looked at patients’ records when deciding whether to approve or deny care. Aetna says the comments were taken out of context. Meanwhile, Anthem is changing its emergency room program after it received pushback from providers and lawmakers.