RealClearHealth Morning Scan -- 01/12/2016

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We hope you're enjoying the morning news update from the RealClearHealth Morning Scan. Be sure to also follow RealClearHealth's website throughout the day. If you didn't visit us yesterday, here's some of what you missed:


  • Insurers Say Special Enrollment Drives Cost Growth - Robert Pear, NYT
  • UPMC, Health Catalyst Partner on Cost Management - Kris Mamula, PPG
  • NIH Asked to Override Drug Patents - Ed Silverman, Pharmalot

Today's Top Stories

Clinton Call Sanders Health Plan a 'Risky Deal'
Phillip & Rucker, WP
Speaking at an event in Iowa, Clinton pointedly contrasted her health-care plan with Sanders's, claiming that his proposal would turn over health insurance to Republican governors.

21 Systems Join Next Generation ACO Program
Zachary Tracer, B'berg
Health systems in at least 14 states are joining a new version of a program under Obamacare meant to lower costs in the half-trillion-dollar Medicare program, after some groups quit an earlier effort.

ACA Enrollment Periods to Be Tightened
Armour & Radnofsky, WSJ
The Obama administration will tighten the rules for people who enroll in insurance through outside of official enrollment periods, hoping to hold down costs that insurers blamed on late sign-ups.

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Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies are leading improvements to the nation's healthcare system, community by community, with coordinated, high-quality care. Learn more here.

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Drug Companies Try Unified Front Against Cancer
Andrew Pollack, NYT
Some leading pharmaceutical companies are joining forces in an effort to speed the testing of new types of cancer drugs that harness the body’s immune system to battle tumors. The cooperative effort, announced on Monday, will include Amgen, Celgene and some smaller companies.

Measures to Slash Drug Prices Face Hurdles
Ed Silverman, Pharmalot
In California and Ohio, they’re pushing ballot measures that would require state programs — such as Medicaid or prison systems — to pay no more for medicines than the US Department of Veteran Affairs.

Bevin Notifies Feds He'll Dismantle Kynect
Deborah Yetter, Louisville C-J
Following through on a campaign pledge, Gov. Matt Bevin has notified federal authorities he plans to dismantle kynect, Kentucky's health insurance exchange created as part of the Affordable Care Act.

Louisiana to Begin Medicaid Expansion Today
Rory Carroll, Reuters
John Bel Edwards, the first Democrat to hold the office of governor in Louisiana since 2008, said he planned to begin accepting federal funding on Tuesday to expand healthcare to residents through the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Wyo. Gov Pushes Medicaid Expansion Again
J. Archambault, Apothecary
Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead announced last month that he would spend the next few months advocating for Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion in next year’s budget. But so far, Wyoming legislators have taken a thoughtful approach, carefully reviewing all of the evidence and ultimately rejecting Obamacare expansion.

Califf Expected to Win Senate Panel Vote
Sheila Kaplan, Stat
A Senate panel is expected to give Dr. Robert Califf the initial nod to become the next Food and Drug Administration commissioner on Tuesday, easing his path to a likely confirmation by the full Senate.

HHS Idea Lab to Tap 'Maker Movement'
Stephanie Baum, MedCityNews
The way Health and Human Services Chief Technology Officer Susannah Fox sees it, the U.S. government totally missed the Internet boom and has been trying to catch up with ever since.

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Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies understand Americans want healthcare that helps them get healthy faster and stay healthy longer. Community by community, nationwide, we are improving patients' health through innovative programs that provide high-quality, coordinated care. Learn more here.

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