Latest Morning Briefing Stories
After his primary victory, California Gov. Gavin Newsom admitted that single-payer is a hard reality to achieve. Now that he’s in office, though, he has had some success inching the needle forward. As 2020 Democratic candidates make similar big promises on health care, can they look to him for when they need to turn a political slogan into policy? Meanwhile, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s plan to gradually ease country into “Medicare for All” has once again all but guaranteed the topic will come up in the debate on Wednesday.
The National Business Group on Health’s CEO Brian Marcotte talks about the current health care landscape and where it’s headed in the future. In other health industry news: the Blues team up, a hospital system settles allegations of ADA violations, and more.
Hospitals are already gearing up for a legal battle against the “radical proposal.” Some experts say the rule would be a game-changer if it survives. The Trump administration is also proposing to require most health plans that Americans get through their employers to disclose rates, as well.
The plan may blunt moderates’ criticism that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) would strip people of their private insurance immediately. The plan still sets ambitious health goals for the first 100 days of Warren’s presidency, where she would use a budgetary maneuver in Congress to create a generous “Medicare for All option.”
“What the report shows for the first time is the scale of the impact of that access and just how many lives are truly saved or lost because of the ability to connect to care and maintain that connection to care, particularly for people who have chronic conditions,” said Alison Yager, director of policy advocacy for the Miami-based Florida Health Justice Project. Medicaid news comes out of Wyoming, as well.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick served on the boards of American Well Corp., a telemedicine company, and Global Blood Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical firm. His links to the health sector are unlikely to serve him well in an election where the industry often serve as the common enemy. In other news from the 2020 campaign trail: the “Medicare for All” debate, veteran suicides, and emergency preparedness.
The children were the first generation to be raised at home rather than in institutions. But as their parents age, families and advocates wonder what will happen to the vulnerable population. In other health industry news: sky-high medical bills, supply chain tweaks, hospital care at home, and more.
So far, more than 932,000 people have signed up for 2020 health insurance coverage down from 1.1 million sign-ups this time last year despite the marketplace being stronger than ever.
Red states are noticing the benefits their neighbors reaped by expanding the program, and are slowly warming up to it themselves. “There’s been a ton of evidence showing large gains in health care coverage, while helping states economically and keeping rural hospitals open,” said Connie Farrow, spokeswoman for Healthcare for Missouri. “And it hasn’t hurt state budgets. It remains a really good deal for states to cover hundreds of thousands of people.” Medicaid news comes from Wyoming, Idaho and Florida, as well.
Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) standing in the 2020 Democratic primary has only grown since his heart attack, proving that the political thinking of days passed may no longer apply to the current landscape. Meanwhile, Sanders has made some lifestyle changes post-attack.
Kaiser Permanente Chief Executive Bernard Tyson, one of a few top black executives of major U.S. for-profit or nonprofit corporations, is remembered as an influential voice on issues of race relations and health policy. But his tenure at Kaiser Permanente wasn’t without strife. In other health industry news: a canceled merger, a promotion at UnitedHealth Group, and a possible acquisition.
CMS Administrator Seema Verma delivered a fiery speech to the nation’s 56 state and territorial Medicaid directors in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, covering a range of issues. She also defended her decision to hire allies as outside contractors to help her develop a communications strategy.
The National Nurses United enthusiastically threw its weight behind Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in the 2016 presidential campaign due to his “Medicare for All” plan, so it was unlikely the union would go for anyone else in the current primary contest. Union members, though, say that while they support Sanders, they won’t be going negative in attacks against his rivals. Meanwhile, KHN fact checks Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) claims about out-of-pocket spending.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Baton Rouge, argues that the state has violated federal laws by failing to offer children intensive mental health services, instead relying on psychiatric institutions and the juvenile justice system to stabilize children in crisis. Medicaid news comes out of Minnesota and Tennessee, as well.
“For people who live with little to no savings, any increase in Medicare premiums or drug costs is going to be a struggle,” said Fred Riccardi, president of the Medicare Rights Center.
Bernard Tyson was described by colleagues in a company statement as “an outstanding leader, visionary and champion for high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans.”
“Everyone sat up and said: ‘Wow, we’re not very good. Not only are we very expensive, we kill a lot of people,’ ” recalled Dr. Robert Wachter, chair of the department of medicine at University of California at San Francisco, who who has written about patient safety issues for years. Many of the report’s ambitious goals, such as creating a reliable system of measuring errors, have yet to be realized. In other news on hospitals: debilitating lawsuits, financial struggles at rural facilities, infant deaths from contaminated equipment, and more.
Under the Trump administration, there’s been a push to allow veterans to seek care outside the VA system as a way to cut down on wait times and improve access. But some worry that will ultimately hurt veterans in the long run. Media outlets cover other news related to vets’ health care on Veterans Day.
Legal rulings have made red states more hesitant to try to implement work requirements, but Republicans aren’t throwing in the towel yet. Work requirements “are not dead, but they’re certainly on life support,” said Joan Alker, of Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy. “The reasons for states not to go down this path are piling up.” Medicaid news comes out of Missouri, Wyoming and Maine, as well.
Media outlets report on news from California, Tennessee, Ohio, Maryland, Georgia, District of Columbia, Minnesota, Illinois, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Missouri and North Carolina.