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Feds say Arizona can move forward on work requirement for Medicaid

Federal officials issued guidelines last week that will let Arizona and nine other states move ahead on proposals to require that able-bodied Medicaid recipients are either working or involved in “community engagement activities” to be eligible for coverage.... Read more»

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Protesters urge ‘no’ vote on GOP health care bill, as details emerge

Angry protesters rallied outside Sen. Jeff Flake’s Phoenix office Friday, demanding that he vote against a Republican health care bill that new analyses claim could hit Arizona particularly hard.... Read more»

Arizona reaction to Senate health bill ranges from lukewarm to hostile

The Senate Republican plan to replace Obamacare was quickly attacked by Democrats and kept at arm’s length by Arizona’s Republican senators, who seemed less than eager to comment on a bill few had seen before its release Thursday.... Read more»1

What the Devil won't tell you

Morlock: What price Mom's life?

A view of health reform from inside the ICU provides much clarity: Patient-centered, market-oriented health-care reform means customers face more exposure to prices — and their ultimate bargaining power is the right to walk away ... Gulp.... Read more»

Access to overdose drug Narcan slow, but growing

Arizona enacted a law last year allowing the purchase of the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone without a prescription — but training for pharmacists, and the state Medicaid program’s inability to cover the cost without a prescription, have slowed access to the drug.... Read more»

Az lawmakers debate raising minimum auto liability insurance

You might have to pay about $80 more on car insurance next year if a bill working its way through the state Legislature passes.... Read more»

Capitol roundup: KidsCare, reporters return, bill updates

Legislators still have not presented their response to the budget. Instead the major news at the Capitol this week revolved around the House of Representatives temporarily suspending new security protocols that barred reporters from the floor.... Read more»

Ducey signs law to allow lab testing without a doctor’s order

Arizona patients will be able to get any laboratory test without a doctor's approval under legislation signed Monday by Gov. Doug Ducey. The governor said the change will reduce barriers and red tape. The bill's author hopes Arizona will lead the nation in preventative care. ... Read more»2

Comic: Politicomix

The New (G.O.P.) Math

Republican leaders and Gov. Doug Ducey are hammering out a budget that would significantly reduce the state's Medicaid spending, triggering even larger cuts from federal programs that offer matching funds.... Read more»

Hooked

Trend of over-prescribing painkillers a path to heroin addiction

Doctors in the U.S. are prescribing painkillers far more frequently these days, and experts say addiction to opioid drugs can be a pathway to heroin use. In fact, most heroin addicts have graduated from abusing prescription drugs.... Read more»2

Number of Az uninsured dropping, still higher than nat'l average

While it fell, Arizona's uninsured rate, at 17.1 percent, was higher than the nation's 14.5 percent. Analysts cite several reasons why more people might have insurance, from more jobs to 'Obamacare.'... Read more»

States declining Medicaid expansion leaving patients in lurch

More than 1 million patients who use federally funded community health centers will remain uninsured because they live in one of 24 states that chose not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Health centers in states — such as Arizona — that have expanded are benefiting, as 2.9 million of their uninsured patients were projected to gain coverage in 2014... Read more»

KidsCare freeze, AHCCCS glitch mean health-care struggle

After months of trying, A Tucson family learned that they could enroll in Medicaid to help cover their daughter's lupus.... Read more»

Analysis

Obamacare deadline: Don't pay the fine

It's here. The Affordable Care Act, or as you've probably heard it referred to, Obamacare. Despite all the bickering about its merits or deficiencies, it is the law of the land regarding health insurance. And it comes with teeth. Getting signed up this week could save you the trouble of a penalty next year. A local health insurance expert gives his take:... Read more»

Obamacare a mixed Rx for Tucson hospitals

Although Arizona's largest academic medical network could see emergency room relief with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, the law could also lead to hospital staff reductions and more stress on the state's primary care doctors. ... Read more»

Factcheck: Group attacks Barber over Obamacare

A conservative group is attacking Democratic Rep. Ron Barber with an ad that claims the Affordable Care Act “means higher costs for struggling families.” It may mean higher costs for some, but hundreds of thousands of state residents are expected to qualify for Medicaid because of the law, and others will qualify for federal subsidies to buy coverage.... Read more»

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