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Congress and administration policy rule makers expected that the insurer data would be overwhelming and that private firms and researchers would step in to do the deep analysis and data production.

Health insurers are complying with federal rules aimed at price transparency that took effect July 1 and posting negotiated rates for just about every type of medical service - but it could be weeks before tech firms put the data dump of enormous proportions into usable forms. Read more»

'There’s a myth that Social Security and Medicare miraculously take care of all of people’s needs in older age,' said Ramsey Alwin, president and chief executive of the National Council on Aging.

Nationally and in every state, the minimum cost of living for older adults far exceeds federal poverty thresholds, yet eligibility for Medicaid, food stamps and other safety net programs do not account for variations in cost of living or medical expenses incurred by older adults. Read more»

Lina Khan, chair of the Federal Trade Commission, said the agency would scrutinize how proposed mergers might affect not only prices but also workers in the labor market.

Fresh off the Federal Trade Commission’s successful challenges to four hospital mergers, the Biden administration’s new majority on the commission is primed to more aggressively combat consolidation in the health care industry than it has in past years. Read more»

A coalition of state-based libertarian and conservative think tanks and legal centers, known as the State Policy Network, long has operated behind the scenes promoting a conservative agenda in state legislatures.

Through a wave of pandemic-related litigation, a trio of small but mighty conservative legal blocs has rolled back public health authority at the local, state, and federal levels, recasting America’s future battles against infectious diseases. Read more»

Nationwide, about 1 in 5 indebted adults who have had cancer or have a family member who’s been sick say they owe $10,000 or more.

Cancer kills about 600,000 people in the U.S. annually, making it a leading cause of death - and many more survive it, because of breakthroughs in medicines - but the high costs of modern-day care have left millions with a devastating financial burden. Read more»

The Congressional Budget Office estimated the new law’s total cost at $13 billion, a large chunk of which will be used to increase funding to expand existing mental health and school safety services programs.

The gun safety law forged through tense bipartisan talks in the Senate has been heralded as the first federal legislation in 30 years to combat rising gun violence, but what often falls below the radar is the new law’s focus on improving mental health services. Read more»

Congress should crack down on Medicare Advantage health plans for seniors that sometimes deny patients vital medical care while overcharging the government billions of dollars every year, government watchdogs told a House panel. Read more»

'Speculating on what tribes should do based on a leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft decision is irresponsible,' said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr.

Advocates say they hadn’t heard of any tribe or Indigenous organization advocating for opening clinics on tribal land to offer abortion services - and any such plan would be fraught with legal, financial, and political hurdles. Read more»

About 1 in 7 people with debt said they’ve been denied access to a hospital, doctor, or other provider because of unpaid bills, according to the poll.

More than 100 million people in America, including 41% of adults, are beset by a health care system that is systematically pushing patients into debt on a mass scale - much hidden as credit card balances, loans from family, or payment plans to hospitals. Read more»

Heat waves are getting hotter and becoming more frequent, a great concern for everyone’s health - but especially for children, who are more susceptible to heat-related illness and the toll on their mental health affects their ability to learn. Read more»

Scientists widely agree that race is a social construct, yet it is often conflated with biology, leaving the impression that a person’s race governs how the body functions.

Using race as a medical shorthand is at best imprecise and at worst harmful, and a conversation is unfolding nationally among lawmakers, scientists, and doctors who say one of the best things patients can do is ask if and how race is factored into their care. Read more»

Many patient advocates and medical experts say no-cost coverage should be extended beyond an initial preventive test to imaging, biopsies, or other services necessary for diagnosing a problem.

Under the Affordable Care Act, many preventive services are covered at no cost - but if a screening returns an abnormal result and more testing is needed, patients may be on the hook for hundreds or even thousands of dollars for diagnostic services. Read more»

Shelves normally meant for baby formula sit nearly empty at a store on June 1, 2022.

The ongoing dearth of formula has caused tremendous stress for families nationwide, especially those who rely upon WIC, which accounts for as much as two-thirds of all formula purchases in the U.S. - but the program’s massive purchasing also limits choices. Read more»

A protest sign at a 2019 Stop Abortion Bans Rally in St Paul, Minn.

Abortion opponents’ efforts to exclude exceptions for rape, incest or to save the life of the mother are politically risky - the majorities of Americans who support allowing those exceptions are nearly as large as the majorities who oppose abortion late in pregnancy. Read more»

Older adults who have survived COVID-19 are more likely than younger patients to have persistent symptoms, but it can be hard to distinguish lingering after-effects of COVID from conditions common in older patients. Read more»

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