Latest Morning Briefing Stories

‘Delay, Deny And Hope You Die’: NFL’s Byzantine Rules Stymie Ex-Players Seeking Health Benefits

KHN Morning Briefing

But Paul Scott, who worked as the NFL’s benefit plan point person, wants to change that. He’s hoping to help former players through the application process to get the disability benefits they’ve earned. Meanwhile, experts find fault in the way the University of Maryland treated football player Jordan McNair when he suffered from heatstroke, which led to his death.

Activist Investor Icahn Drops Opposition To Cigna-Express Scripts Deal After Advisory Firms Signal Their Support

KHN Morning Briefing

Billionaire Carl Icahn had called the deal a “$60 billion folly,” but is now walking back his opposition in light of recommendations from Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis. The latter called the insurer’s offer for the pharmacy benefits manager “both strategically and financially compelling, structured in a reasonable manner from a valuation standpoint for Cigna shareholders.”

Administration Optimistic It Can Sidestep Judge’s Ruling On Kentucky Medicaid Work Requirements

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The judge blocked Kentucky’s attempt to add work requirements to its Medicaid program because officials had failed to consider the estimate that it would cause 95,000 low-income people to lose coverage. Now, Trump administration officials say that if they provide a fuller record showing that they considered the evidence that they’ll be able to move forward.

A Green Card Or Health Care? Possible Trump Proposal Could Make Legal Immigrants Have To Choose

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Experts are most worried about the way the rule, which would expand the definition of “public charge,” will affect children’s health. The proposal is set to include: children’s health insurance; Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Plan (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps); Supplemental Nutritional Program for Women, Infants and Children, known as WIC; tax credits for low- to moderate-income families; and housing and transit subsidies.

In Latest Swipe At Health Law, ACO Program That Failed To Save Government Billions Will Be Overhauled

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Accountable care organizations were set up under the Affordable Care Act with the intention of improving quality and efficiency. But government data shows that they’ve fallen short of the savings that were projected. “After six years of experience, the time has come to put real ‘accountability’ in Accountable Care Organizations,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a statement. “Medicare cannot afford to support programs with weak incentives that do not deliver value.”

CVS Wants Pharma To Stop Pointing Fingers At The Middlemen When It Comes To High Drug Prices

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“Drug manufacturers want you to believe that increasing drug prices are a result of them happy to pay rebates and that PBMs are retaining these rebates. And this is simply not true,” said Larry Merlo, the CEO of CVS, which owns Caremark, one of the biggest pharmacy-benefit managers. Meanwhile, the American Medical Association speaks out against CVS’ attempts to acquire insurer Aetna. And Rite Aid and Albertsons call off their merger.

Confusion, Worry Plague States As They Try To Navigate Federal Rule On Association Health Plans

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State insurance regulators are also concerned that the Labor Department won’t provide guidance on how much regulatory authority the states have. In other health law news: a lawmaker wants details about information on Medicare that was removed from a website; proposed rates continue to come out of states; and the Connecticut insurance commissioners is asked to ban short-term health coverage.