RealClearHealth Morning Scan -- 01/06/2016

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Aetna Departure Delivers Big Blow to AHIP
Muchmore & Herman, MH
Another top-five health insurance company is ditching the industry lobbying group as a new CEO attempts to right the ship.

ACA Had Little Effect on Part-Time Employment
Dan Mangan, CNBC
The sky didn't fall when Obamacare went into effect — and the number of people working part-time didn't rise, either.

Repeal Talks Were More Than a Political Exercise
Caitlin Owens, MC
Despite the clear lack of real-world policy implications that Democrats publicly touted as a waste of lawmakers’ time, both parties took the bill’s crafting seriously. Senate Democrats went on defense behind the scenes by raising parliamentary questions, forcing Republicans to write several complicated drafts.

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An ACA Provision Even the GOP Can Love
Kimberly Leonard, U.S. News
The Republican presidential front-runners, along with their trailing competitors, are all big fans of allowing Americans to buy health insurance across state lines, arguing that doing so would boost competition, resulting in lower costs and greater choice for consumers. The thing is, such permission is already part of President Barack Obama's health care law.

2 Medicaid Approaches Both Give Broadened Access
Goodnough, NYT
Low-income adults in Kentucky and Arkansas have had similar improvements in access to medical care under the Affordable Care Act, a new study found, despite the two states’ differing approaches to expanding Medicaid.

Washington Has Little Power to Negotiate Rx Prices
David Nather, Stat
It sounds simple enough: Let Medicare negotiate drug prices and help bring down prices for consumers. With growing public frustration over the price of prescription drugs, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have made that idea a centerpiece of their campaigns, and congressional Democrats have been kicking the notion around in broad terms for years.

Obama Dares GOP for Mental Health Reforms
Sarah Ferris, The Hill
President Obama is pressuring congressional Republicans to make good on their promise to fix the nation’s broken mental health system, which the GOP has frequently blamed for gun violence.

Gun Control Is a Public Health Issue, Experts Say
Maggie Fox, NBC News
Public health experts and scientists celebrated President Barack Obama's gun plan Tuesday, saying firearm safety is clearly a public health issue and urging Congress to embrace science in the fight for gun-law reform.

Hospitals Required To Keep Caregivers in the Loop
Anna Gorman, KHN
A new California law, SB 675, requires hospital staffers to involve a family caregiver during the hospitalization and discharge process, which supporters say will improve patients’ overall health and reduce their chances of readmission.

What Would a Health Care Mutual Look Like?
Marc-David Monk, THCB
For a few years I’ve been fantasizing about what a healthcare insurance/ delivery mutual would look like. I’ve yet to see one but I like the idea a lot.

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