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Senate health care bill called ‘devastating’ to California
San Francisco Chronicle

Senate Republicans’ health care bill to replace the Affordable Care Act, released Thursday, would lead to millions of Californians losing health coverage, paying more for insurance or seeing their benefits scaled back, according to health policy experts.

The measure would impose steep cuts in the Medi-Cal insurance program that provides benefits to 14 million Californians — nearly a third of the state’s population. And it would reduce federal subsidies that help 1.5 million residents buy health insurance on the state’s exchange, Covered California.

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Republicans aren’t just repealing Obamacare, they are gutting a guarantee of healthcare for the poor
OP/ED: The Los Angeles Times

Three million and $1.6 trillion. The first number represents an estimate of the children who would lose healthcare coverage under the bill Republican senators worked on in secret and finally unveiled on Thursday. The second number reflects the total amount of Medicaid cuts — in the form of the elimination of the Medicaid expansion for working families that was part of the Affordable Care Act, capped federal spending for Medicaid and additional cuts proposed in the president’s budget — that would go to pay for tax breaks for billionaires.

As with the House version of the American Health Care Act — also written in secret and passed in reckless haste — the Senate revision would end Medicaid as we know it. In essence, Trumpcare would abandon the federal government’s 52-year responsibility to guarantee healthcare for those unable to afford it on their own.

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All Kids Should Be Screened for Obesity
Kaiser Health News

Earlier this week, an influential group of experts in preventive care affirmed that children age 6 and older should be screened for obesity and referred to intensive treatment when necessary.

While the Affordable Care Act requires that nearly all plans cover such treatment, most kids don’t have access to programs featuring exercise, nutrition and counseling, according to an editorial published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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The opioid epidemic is so bad that librarians are learning how to treat overdoses
CNN

A crowd hovered over the man lying on the grass as his skin turned purple. Chera Kowalski crouched next to his limp body, a small syringe in her gloved hand. Squeeze.

The antidote filled the man’s nostril. The purple faded. Then it came back. Kowalski’s heart raced.

“We only gave him one, and he needs another!” she called to a security guard in McPherson Square Park, a tranquil patch of green in one of this city’s roughest neighborhoods. “He’s dying,” said a bystander, piling on as tension mounted around lunchtime one recent weekday. “Where is the ambulance?” a woman begged.

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Republicans created a health care monster by lying to their base. They need to come clean.
USA Today

The hope for the Senate Republican health care plan was that it would be more humane than its House counterpart, which President Trump labeled “mean.” It may be, but only in the sense that it’s more humane to shoot someone in the leg than to shoot them in the head.

As a Reagan-style conservative, I’m naturally suspicious of new entitlement programs. But I also have multiple sclerosis, a painful and chronic disease.  In 1999, my doctors told me that I wouldn’t live past 60 — but in two weeks I’ll be 61. Proving them wrong has been the hardest fight of my life. And it’s been expensive.

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Senate GOP’s Obamacare repeal bill will cost lives, but fatten the wallets of millionaires
Los Angeles Times

Senate Republicans finally revealed on Thursday why they’ve been crafting their Affordable Care Act repeal in secret. As the newly released draft shows, it’s a rollback of health coverage for millions of Americans that could cost the lives of tens of thousands a year.

But make no mistake: This is not a healthcare bill. It’s a tax cut for the wealthiest Americans, paid for by a reduction in government funding for healthcare. The measure would constitute one of the largest single transfers of wealth to the rich from the middle class and poor in American history.

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Winners And Losers: 40 Is Old In Senate GOP Health Plan’s Subsidy Structure
Kaiser Health News

People getting subsidies to help buy health insurance would see at least three sharp changes — tied to both age and income — that could dramatically affect how much they pay for coverage if the Senate Republican health plan becomes law.

The Senate bill released Thursday would reduce the income thresholds that determine eligibility, change the amount people who receive help pay toward their insurance premiums and peg subsidies to less generous coverage.

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Health care’s arc of history: GOP’s remarkable move to the right
CNN.com

In 1965, 13 Senate and 70 House Republicans joined Democrats to pass the Social Security Amendments that created Medicare and Medicaid.

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Two health insurers expand Obamacare presence while others retreat
Modern Healthcare

While some health insurers are bailing on the Affordable Care Act exchanges, others are swooping in to take the business they leave behind.Medicaid and exchange insurer Centene Corp. and New York-based startup Oscar Health plan to expand their footprints on the ACA marketplaces in 2018. Others, including Molina Healthcare and Highmark Health, indicated that they’ll continue to sell coverage in each of the states where they currently operate.Insurers had until Wednesday to announce whether they planned to sell coverage on the insurance exchanges next year.

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Senate healthcare bill is a boon for many insurers, except Medicaid plans
Modern Healthcare

Senate Republicans’ bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is a windfall to insurers selling plans on the individual market, and may be enough to keep them from exiting the exchanges in 2018. But Medicaid insurers warn the bill’s caps on federal spending in that program would compel them to cut necessary care management services and reduce provider reimbursement rates.”It’s worse than we thought it would be,” John Baackes, CEO of L.A. Care Health Plan, which insures Medicaid and ACA exchange members, said of the Senate bill.

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Senate Health Care Bill Hangs In The Balance As 4 Lawmakers Waver
National Public Radio

Senate Republicans’ health care bill may already be on life support, with four key lawmakers announcing their opposition just hours after the GOP’s latest effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act was released.

“Currently, for a variety of reasons, we are not ready to vote for this bill, but we are open to negotiation and obtaining more information before it is brought to the floor,” Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky.; Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Mike Lee, R-Utah; and Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said in a statement Thursday afternoon.

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Providers mobilize to oppose Senate ACA repeal bill
Modern Healthcare

The Senate’s proposed bill to replace Obamacare was immediately met with widespread dissent from healthcare providers throughout the country, including one of the largest for-profits, Tenet Healthcare Corp.The uniform message may mobilize the industry to more vocally oppose a law that could significant affect the revenue of hospitals across the country.Senate Republicans released a discussion draft Thursday morning of their proposed replacement of the Affordable Care Act.

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Examining How Senate Republicans Frame Their Health Care Bill
The Health Care Blog

You can find the full text of the Senate Bill here.

Following is the Senate Republicans summary of their Obamacare replacement bill, with comments by NYU’s Jason Chung. Seven years ago, Democrats imposed a risky health care experiment on Americans that led to skyrocketing costs and collapsing insurance markets. Senate Republicans are working to fix the mess Democrats made by acting to rescue the millions trapped by Obamacare.

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Health providers, lawmakers, scholars sound off on Senate’s anti-Obamacare bill
San Diego Union-Tribune

Here’s a sampling of reactions to the Senate GOP bill meant to revamp the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. The measure was unveiled to the public Thursday. Patty Maysent, chief executive, UC San Diego Health

The Affordable Care Act, whatever its shortcomings, has measurably improved health-care coverage and the lives of millions of Californians, including 3.7 million low-income Californians who are getting health coverage through Medicaid expansion and 1.5 million enrolled in Covered California plans.

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Senate health bill hazardous to America
USA Today

After weeks of secret negotiations, Senate Republicans on Thursday took the wraps off their plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. It deserves the old surgeon general’s warning about cigarettes: This product may be hazardous to your health.

Like its House counterpart, the Senate plan would end insurance coverage for millions of people, probably tens of millions. It’s hard to know for sure, because the plan has yet to be evaluated by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

And like its House counterpart, the Senate measure was drafted without so much as a public hearing.

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How ACA, AHCA and BCRA compare
Modern Healthcare

The Better Care Reconciliation Act, like the American Health Care Act, radically revises Medicaid, but it is closer to the Affordable Care Act on how it approaches subsidies to buy individual insurance.

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Poll: Most Americans Unaware GOP Plans Would Make Deep Funding Cuts To Medicaid
Kaiser Health News

Congress is moving fast toward repealing the Affordable Care Act, with an eye on revamping Medicaid, the health insurance program for low-income people. But most Americans say the program — which Republicans call a “broken system” — is working well on the national level and within their states.

That’s according to a monthly tracking poll released Friday by the Kaiser Family Foundation. (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent project of the foundation.) That support, the poll suggests, holds true across the political spectrum, though support was strongest among Democrats.

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Hospital stocks rally on Senate reform bill
Modern Healthcare

Hospital stock prices jumped on Thursday as investors reacted to the Senate’s proposal for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.Shares of Tenet Healthcare Corp. were up 7%, or $1.22, to $18.90 on the day. Community Health Systems’ shares rose 5% to $9.27.Shares in HCA, the nation’s largest investor-owned hospital chain, were up 2% to $86.14. And Universal Health Services and LifePoint Health advanced 2% and 3%, respectively.Health insurers also saw their stocks advance on the news.

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Senate ACA repeal bill includes tighter Medicaid caps than House version
Modern Healthcare

This​ story​ was​ updated​ at​ 2:20​ p.m.​ ET.​ Senate Republicans’ bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act would cap federal Medicaid spending even more tightly than the repeal bill narrowly passed by House Republicans last month.A “discussion draft” released by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Thursday morning could cap federal payments to the states for most beneficiaries at the medical component of the Consumer Price Index starting in 2020.

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Replacing failed Obamacare
USA Today

Seven years ago, Democrats imposed Obamacare on our country. By nearly any measure, it has failed and no amount of 11th hour reality-denying or buck-passing by Democrats is going to change the fact that more Americans are going to get hurt unless we do something.

We’ve long called for a better way forward, and we’ve been engaged in intensive talks on how to get there. We debated many policy proposals. We considered many different viewpoints. In the end, we found that we share many ideas about what needs to be achieved and how we can achieve it.

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Promises Made To Protect Preexisting Conditions Prove Hollow
Kaiser Health News

Senate Republicans praised the Affordable Care Act replacement bill they presented Thursday as preserving coverage for people with cancer, mental illness and other chronic illness.

But the legislation may do no such thing, according to health law experts who have read it closely.

Built into the bill are loopholes for states to bypass those protections and erode coverage for preexisting conditions. That could lead to perverse situations in which insurers are required to cover chronically ill people but not the diseases they suffer from.

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New GOP health-care plan could wreck Medi-Cal, complicate California’s single-payer effort
Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

Republican efforts on Capitol Hill to dismantle Obamacare could complicate Democratic efforts in Sacramento to take health care in the other direction.

Revealed Thursday, after closed-door talks involving U.S. Senate Republicans, the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 allows states to waive certain Obamacare insurance requirements and provides less-generous insurance subsidies than Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act or ACA.

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Analysis: Why Senate Health Bill Is Even ‘Meaner’ for California
KQED Radio

At last, Republican senators have unveiled their crafted-in-secret health bill, and everyone, including other Republican senators, are scrambling to understand the 142-page “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.”

To know whether it’s truly “better care,” and for which patients, if any, we still need the Congressional Budget Office to weigh in. But some California advocates say the “discussion draft” is clear enough to conclude that the bill would be “disproportionately devastating” for California’s health care system.

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What the Senate healthcare bill could mean for Californians
Los Angeles Times

Senate leaders have released their Obamacare repeal bill, which would slash federal funding for healthcare and could leave millions of Americans uninsured.

Though the plan has not yet been analyzed by the Congressional Budget Office, it isn’t too different from the one passed by the House last month. The CBO projected the House bill would save the federal government $119 billion over the next decade, raise insurance deductibles and leave 23 million fewer Americans with health coverage.

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California’s single-payer blues
KCRA

At a legislative reception in Sacramento this week, a well-known health care advocate quipped that single-payer health care is “the system of the future … and always will be.” The line got some laughs, but it carries an uncomfortable truth.

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San Francisco Doctors and Nurses Rally Against Senate Health Care Bill
KQED Radio

Roughly 200 San Francisco doctors and nurses rallied Thursday outside San Francisco General Hospital to protest the recently released Senate health care bill.

Crafted in secret by Republican leadership, the bill repeals major parts of the sweeping healthcare law implemented by President Obama, known as the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare. The Republican replacement bill would phase out Medicaid expansion, cap spending on Medicaid and eliminate many taxes that fund Obamacare.

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OB-GYNs Give Women More Say In When They Have Mammograms
National Public Radio

Women in their 40s at average risk for breast cancer should talk to their health care provider about the risks and benefits of mammography before starting regular screening at that age, according to guidelines released Thursday by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

The group had previously recommended annual mammograms starting at age 40. But the advice has changed to better incorporate input from the woman being screened, says physician Christopher Zahn, vice president of practice activities at ACOG. “A patient’s preferences and values need to be an important part” of the decision, he says.

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Rady Children’s ambitious genomics expansion to start in Orange County
San Diego Union-Tribune

Soon, couriers will drive infant blood samples 90 miles south down Interstate 5 from Orange County to San Diego for high-speed genetic sequencing and analysis at the Rady Children’s Institute for Genomic Medicine.

The organization, which recently built its own hot rod genetics lab that can do full DNA work-ups in days instead of weeks, announced this week that it has made a pact with Children’s Hospital of Orange County, offering quick-turnaround service for infants in that facility’s intensive care units who need the speed.

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S.F. health company lays off 20 as it aims for profitability
San Francisco Business Times

San Francisco digital health company Omada Health has cut 20 people, about 10 percent of its workforce, as it raised another $50 million in funding this month. Founded in 2011, the company developed a diabetes prevention program to manage and change behavior around food, fitness and stress. Its web and mobile application uses data science and smart devices, like a digital scale, to track and recommend activities and shopping choices.

 

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