RealClearHealth Morning Scan -- 01/15/2016

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Democrats Revive Debate over Health Care
Megerian & Levey, LAT
The divergent views epitomize the differences between the candidates – Clinton as a battle-hardened realist, with Sanders the uncompromising crusader – and the healthcare debate has become one of the most rancorous parts of an increasingly competitive primary.

Clinton's Health-Care Assault on Sanders Backfires
Nancy Cook, Politico
Hillary Clinton’s assault on Bernie Sanders for his support of a single-payer health system has stunned and irritated liberals who see it as an abandonment of core progressive principles.

Chelsea Clinton Mischaracterizes Sanders Plan
Lauren Carroll, PolitiFact
Hitting the campaign trail on her mother’s behalf, Chelsea Clinton attacked Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders’ universal health care plan.

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Humana Is Latest Insurer to Report High Claims Costs
Fox News
The Louisville, Ky.- based company does not expect to make enough money this year in premiums from individual plans to cover what it will pay out in claims, according to a regulatory filing made last week with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Per Capita Medicaid Cost in Conn. Is Down
Arielle Levin Becker, CT Mirror
State Department of Social Services officials who oversee the Medicaid program said in recent interviews that it’s too early to tell exactly what’s causing the decline in per-person costs among those who became eligible under Obamacare.

Some on Marketplaces Spend 25% of Income on Health
Andrews, KHN
Even with subsidies to make coverage more affordable, many people who buy health insurance on the marketplaces spend more than 10 percent of their income on premiums, deductibles and other out-of-pocket payments, a recent study found.

AHIP's New Goal: Win Back Members
Zachary Tracer, Bloomberg
Tensions and splits inside the lobbying group have been developing for years, said people familiar with its inner politics. AHIP is filled with companies who have very different businesses and policy needs. It contains health insurers large and small, including regional nonprofits and some of the biggest publicly traded companies in America.

Few Doctors Prescribe Anti-Addiction Drugs
Christine Vestal, Stateline
More than 900,000 U.S. physicians can write prescriptions for painkillers such as OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin. But because of a federal law, fewer than 32,000 doctors are authorized to prescribe buprenorphine to people who become addicted to those and other opioids. Most doctors with a license to prescribe buprenorphine seldom — if ever — use it.

Different Treatments Needed for Addicted Youths
Heidi Benson, NPR
Lack of effective treatment in the teen years can blight an entire life. "When substance use disorders occur in adolescence, they affect key developmental and social transitions, and they can interfere with normal brain maturation," the National Institute on Drug Abuse reported in 2014.

Politics Gets in the Way of Evidence-Based Medicine
Joel Zinberg, AEI
Medicine is purportedly moving into an evidence-based era where treatments are scientifically evaluated for the value they add to patient care and disease prevention. Think again. Medical care continues to be influenced by emotional and political factors that disregard and sometimes threaten scientific inquiry.

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