NEWS ABOUT: health care

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Dueling Courts Gut, Uphold ObamaCare Subsidies

One appeals court issues 'crippling blow' as another helps it hours later

(Newser) - It's a seesaw day for ObamaCare: One federal appeals court delivered what was seen as potentially devastating news to the health care law today, but hours later a second appeals court came to the opposite conclusion. Both decisions revolve around subsidies for people who signed up for ObamaCare on... More »

America's Health Care Ranks 11th—Out of 11

US is costliest, least effective among industrialized nations

(Newser) - Americans are paying a lot more money for a health care system less effective than those of other countries, according to a report from the Commonwealth Fund think tank that ranks the US dead last out of 11 industrialized countries once again. The US was last overall and came in... More »

Hordes of ObamaCare Users Told Info Doesn't Check Out

Officials 'double- and triple-check' provided subsidy data

(Newser) - The White House intends to double-check the documents of hundreds of thousands of ObamaCare users to confirm they qualify for health subsidies, having notified them over the last two weeks that "the information in your application doesn’t match what we found in other records." In fact, government... More »

Breakthrough DNA Test Saves Boy in 48 Hours

New software sifts through DNA sample to make quick diagnosis

(Newser) - A 15-year-old boy is alive thanks to a diagnosis that sounds like it’s from a sci-fi novel. Doctors took a DNA sample from Joshua Osborn—whose brain was swelling with fluid for reasons that had doctors stumped—ran it through DNA-sequencing machines, and let the software work its magic,... More »

In a Single Year, Basic Hospital Prices Soar

And experts aren't sure why

(Newser) - Over the course of a single year, hospitals charged noticeably more for a range of standard procedures, the New York Times finds. Medicare data show that for 91 of 98 common ailments, hospitals' 2012 prices increased more than the rate of inflation from a year earlier: Chest pain charges jumped... More »

IRS: Employers Can't 'Dump' Workers on Health Care

Large businesses still have to pay employee health costs

(Newser) - The IRS has sent a message to employers—that they can't just hand workers cash and "dump" them into insurance exchanges. Spelled out in a Q&A document , the ruling says employers will be taxed an extra $100 a day for each worker sent into the marketplace to... More »

US Quietly Earmarks Money for ObamaCare Insurers

It's a safety net to cover any losses; Republicans cry foul

(Newser) - ObamaCare just became a win-win proposition for insurance companies. Tucked into hundreds of pages of new rulings on the Affordable Care Act last week was a promise to pay insurers for any losses they incur by providing coverage on government exchanges, the LA Times reports. The Obama administration inserted the... More »

Heartbleed Fears Prompt ObamaCare Password Reset

No sign site has been compromised: White House

(Newser) - People who have accounts on the enrollment website for ObamaCare are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the confounding Heartbleed Internet security flaw. All enrollee passwords have been reset, the White House says, per CNN . Senior administration officials said there... More »

We've Made Huge Progress on One Diabetes Front

Dangerous complications are way down

(Newser) - A major federal study points to vast improvements in the fight against diabetes-related ailments, thanks in large part to improving treatment. Complications from diabetes have plummeted over two decades, the New York Times reports: For instance, heart attacks among diabetes sufferers have dropped 68% since 1990 (and 31% in the... More »

Why 90% of Doctors Don't Recommend Their Job

We're seeing a 'war on physicians': Daniela Drake

(Newser) - According to a survey last year , nine of 10 doctors wouldn't recommend their career to others; some 300 doctors commit suicide yearly. All that's not surprising, writes Daniela Drake at the Daily Beast : "Simply put, being a doctor has become a miserable and humiliating undertaking," she... More »

Insurers Panic Over $1K-a-Day Wonder Drug

Congress demands to know why Sovaldi is so expensive

(Newser) - The FDA only approved Sovaldi in December, but the hepatitis C treatment is already setting records, with as much as $10 billion in sales expected in the first year alone. And why not? It has few side effects, cures 90% of patients, and, oh yeah, costs $1,000 a day.... More »

ObamaCare Signups Surge Past 7M Target

More than 7M poised to sign up as of yesterday

(Newser) - Experts didn't think the White House could reach a goal of 7 million ObamaCare signups as of yesterday—but it looks like their forecasts were wrong. Officials say the administration was on track to receive more than 7 million signups, in line with the original Congressional Budget Office target... More »

Under ObamaCare, My Mom Can't Get Her Cancer Drug

We can, and must, do better: Stephen Blackwood

(Newser) - Stephen Blackwood offers a wrenching indictment of ObamaCare in the Wall Street Journal : His mother, diagnosed with carcinoid cancer in 2005, "wouldn't still be here" without a shot she gets twice a month of Sandostatin, a drug that slows the disease. But in November, her health plan was... More »

Suits: How a Hospital Chain Schemed to Boost Profits

'NYT' looks at lawsuits against Health Management Associates

(Newser) - The New York Times today takes a look at whistle-blower lawsuits claiming for-profit hospital chain Health Management Associates employed a strategy to up admission—whether or not patients needed care—in order to boost Medicare and Medicaid payments. The paper shares one tactic, in which ER scorecards were posted daily,... More »

Expanding Medicaid Led to More ER Visits

Harvard research debunks ObamaCare talking point

(Newser) - One of the favorite arguments of Affordable Care Act supporters has long been that the newly-insured poor will use primary care doctors more and expensive emergency room services less, saving the government money. But a new Harvard study totally contradicts that claim. Researchers looked at Oregon's partial 2008 Medicaid... More »

ObamaCare Coverage Makes Quiet Debut

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid reports smooth first day

(Newser) - After years of debate, legal proceedings, and technical glitches, health insurance purchased under ObamaCare began actually covering people yesterday, in what Kathleen Sebelius touted as an "exciting new day for health care." But on the ground health care providers weren't exactly inundated with new customers, in part,... More »

2 States Stop Paying Builder of Bungled Health Care Sites

Vermont is asking for a refund, and Massachusetts is considering it

(Newser) - The federal health care exchange isn't the only one that CGI Federal screwed up. The much-maligned contractor also built seven exchanges for individual states, and now two of those states—Massachusetts and Vermont—have stopped payment, with Vermont even requesting a refund, thanks to the company's failure to... More »

At 11th Hour, Obama Eases Health Care Mandate

People who lost policies can claim hardship exemption

(Newser) - In a surprise move, the Obama administration essentially lifted the individual mandate last night for anyone who saw their insurance policy cancelled thanks to the Affordable Care Act, just days before the Dec. 23 deadline to sign up for Jan. 1 coverage. These consumers will be able to apply for... More »

Obama 'Wins' Lie of the Year

'If you like your plan...' and ensuing prevaricating, take PolitiFact's top honors

(Newser) - "If you like your health care plan, you can keep it." Barack Obama has been raked over the coals for that one in recent months, and now he's getting, umm, honored for it: PolitiFact has awarded the phrase its Lie of the Year Award, it announced on... More »

Don't Believe Dire Warnings of Doctor Shortage

Technology, more help from support teams should solve the problem: 'NYT' op-ed

(Newser) - Headlines about a looming doctor shortage for the US have been kicking around for a while, with the Association of American Medical Colleges forecasting a gap of 130,000 by 2025. Don't believe it, write Drs. Scott Gottlieb and Ezekiel Emanuel in the New York Times . The doomsayers generally... More »

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