About the public’s health
Big soda pours big bucks into California’s Capitol: As California considers a tax on sugared drinks, this article exposes the extent of lobbying against the proposal. “A California Healthline analysis found that 9 in 10 state senators and members of the Assembly, or a member of their staff, accepted a campaign contribution, gift or charitable donation in 2017 and 2018 from the American Beverage Association (or its political action committee), the Coca-Cola Co. or PepsiCo — the three largest givers in the industry.”
Global, national, and urban burdens of paediatric asthma incidence attributable to ambient NO2 pollution: estimates from global datasets: Yet another reason (other than global warming) to control air pollution. This study documents the link between nitrogen dioxide pollution and new pediatric asthma cases. The primary source of the pollutant is autos.
Can officials require vaccinations against measles? A century-old case may give them a foothold: In the face of the measles epidemic, questions have arisen about the legality of compelling immunization. This article recalls a 1902 Massachusetts case that concerned smallpox and discusses legal issues on this topic.
Health care price check: A couple retiring today needs $285,000 as medical expenses in retirement remain relatively steady:This study comes from Fidelity Investments. The good news is that 35-year-old couple can potentially save $285,000 in 30 Years by investing $2,820 annually.
FDA warns about risks of using home use test strips that are pre-owned or not authorized for sale in U.S., including those for glucose, warfarin: Test strips are being sold online on eBay, Craigslist, and Amazon, or directly from online sellers. The FDA warns that these strips may not perform to specifications and give erroneous results.
About healthcare IT
Executive Spotlight—Karen DeSalvo on what 'frustrates' her most about healthcare—and why she gives props to the Trump administration: In this interview, former National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Karen DeSalvo opines on current and future healthcare IT issues. One of the topics is patient centered systems. But we still do not have unique patient identifiers as do most other countries.
Electronic Capabilities for Patient Engagement among U.S. Non-Federal Acute Care Hospitals: 2013-2017: This research is from the Office of the National Coordinator. The upshot is we still have a long way to go before electronic capabilities reach their potential. For example, most “hospitals (62 percent) reported that fewer than 25 percent of their patients activated their access to their patient portal.”
About health insurance
Republican senators float bill with protections for pre-existing conditions: Republicans are afraid that if the ACA is eliminated they will be blamed for what Americans like most about it: no denials for preexisting conditions and no health-related premium adjustments. So a group of GOP senators led by Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina is proposing a bill to address those concerns. However, it allows insurers to exclude any preexisting condition from coverage, even if they issue a policy for all other health care possibilities. The bill does not have widespread support so Republicans will have to go to “Plan B.”
July hearing expected in Obama health care law case: Judge Leslie Southwick of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in New Orleans has agreed to expedite hearing the appeal of the ruling that invalidated the ACA.
Oak Street Health and Aetna Team Up to Expand Access to Value-Based Care in Indiana and Michigan: One more example of an insurer partnering with primary care clinic providers.
Idaho becomes 2nd state to support scaled-back Medicaid expansion: The people of Idaho and Utah voted to participate in Medicaid programs under the ACA. But Republican administrations in those states chose to limit the expansion.
New Consumer Testing Shows Limited Consumer Understanding of Short-Term Plans and Need for Continued State and NAIC Action: Republicans are touting short term health plans as an affordable alternative to ACA offerings. But this study from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners shows that people do not know what they are buying. The results are not surprising given other older studies that showed poor understanding of basic health insurance terms.