Source: Kaiser Health News

Viewpoints: Lessons On What Can Go Wrong With Drugs During A Trade War; When It Comes To Health Care, Most People Want Freedom Of Choice

Opinion writers express views on these health issues and others.


For Wheelchair Users, Flying Can Be Stressful And Humiliating: ‘They’re Not Being Treated In A Very Humane Way’

For those who use a wheelchair, the struggle that comes with flying can be disheartening. “You’re basically giving disabled people yet another reason to feel like society wants us shut into our homes and doesn’t want us going anywhere," says Emily Ladau, a disability rights activist. In other public health news: Huntington's disease, the HIV epidemic, salad and E. coli, obesity, mental health and more.


State Highlights: Va. Governor Cites ‘Unacceptable’ Rates Of Maternal Mortality, Pledges $22M; Violence Worsens At NYC Jail Despite Reports To The Contrary

Media outlets report on news from Virginia, New York, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Missouri, North Carolina, Georgia, Connecticut, California, and Massachusetts.


Warren Pivots When Asked By Worried Union Workers If Their Negotiated Coverage Will Be Protected

Union workers, which can be a powerful voting bloc for Democrats, are concerned that a "Medicare for All" plan will upend the hard-won coverage they've negotiated for themselves. "What you’ve got is something I want to see replicated all across America," Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said. But she didn't answer how she would protect their coverage.


Primary Care Doctors Who Are Fed Up With Industry Are More And More Cutting Out The Middleman

Instead of playing by the rules of the traditional health system, primary care doctors are charging patients a set fee per month to cover a range of basic services. This lets them spend more time with patients and avoid the headache of dealing with insurers.


UnitedHealth To Acquire Specialty Drug Provider Diplomat Pharmacy At A Steep Discount

"This combination will expand the innovative specialty pharmacy and infusion solutions OptumRx can offer to the consumers and clients we serve," said John Prince, the chief executive of OptumRx, a division under UnitedHealth. In other health industry news: cigarette stocks rebrand, a former executive pleads guilty to fraud, Banner Health agrees to a settlement over a data breach.


Supreme Court Declines To Hear Unusual Case Brought By Arizona Against Embattled Sackler Family

Arizona argued that the Supreme Court had "original jurisdiction" because one of the parties involved was a state. It was an unusual step to take because most cases work their way up through the lower courts. The Supreme Court didn't bite, though. Meanwhile, new documents show that Purdue Pharma's decision to cut its sales force in 2018 wasn't quite the sacrifice it may have looked like. The opioid-maker had already calculated that its past marketing would cushion any fallout from the decision.


Kentucky Abortion Law That Requires Physicians To Display, Describe Ultrasound Survives Supreme Court Appeal

Without explanation or notable dissent, the justices declined to take up the case, which argued that the law violated physicians' First Amendment right of free speech. Lower courts have been divided over "display-and-describe" ultrasound laws. Two federal courts upheld the Kentucky law, but in a similar case out of North Carolina, a separate federal judge struck down the law. The case is just one of many abortion challenges destined for the Supreme Court.


Stakes Are High For Insurers As Health Law Once Again In Front Of Supreme Court With ‘Risk Corridor’ Case

The "risk corridor" program was the financial carrot to get insurers to participate in the marketplaces. But Republicans stripped most of the money from the program in 2014. Now insurers say the government owes them $12 billion. “At its core, this isn’t really a case about health policy,” said Christen Linke Young, a fellow at the Brookings Institution. “It’s a case about whether or not the government keeps its word.”


Trump, HHS Publicly Support CMS Chief Verma Amid Latest Controversy Over $47,000 Claim For Stolen Jewelry, Property

CMS Administrator Seema Verma filed a claim with the government after $47,000 worth of jewelry and other property was stolen during a work trip. According to White House aides, President Donald Trump is standing by Verma, despite the fact that she's embroiled in another controversy over spending millions on communications contracts as well as an increasingly hostile and public feud with HHS Secretary Alex Azar. Meanwhile, HHS says it was "perfectly appropriate" for Verma to file the claim.


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