RealClearHealth Morning Scan -- 01/19/2016

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Sanders Brings Back Liberals' Health Care Dream
Owens & Johnson, MC
As unrealistic as Bernie Sanders’ Medicare-for-all plan may be, it could also be the key to winning over primary voters.

Election-Year Rift in GOP over 'Replace' Bill
Alexander Bolton, The Hill
House Republicans are moving full steam ahead with work on a replacement bill for ObamaCare, an effort that Senate Republicans see as dangerous.

First Lady, School Food Service May Be Headed for Truce
Jalonick, AP
A bipartisan Senate agreement would revise healthier meal standards put into place over the last few years to give schools more flexibility in what they serve the nation's schoolchildren, easing requirements on whole grains and delaying an upcoming deadline to cut sodium levels on the lunch line.

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Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies are helping people understand how to use their health benefits so they can get the right medication for them at the most affordable price. Learn more.

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Obama's Bet on Science Is About More Than Cancer
Carl Zimmer, Stat
To anyone who follows science, President Barack Obama’s announcement of a “moonshot” to cure cancer last week brought on a strong sense of déjà vu. It was, in fact, the third time in less than three years that he has launched a high-profile effort to solve a complex biomedical problem.

Untangling the Health Info Exchange Mess
Jan Greene, Managed Care
Payers’ thinking has shifted. They have become far more invested in the need to access all the information they can about their customers in order to keep costs down and people healthy.

Lifesaving Flights Can Come w/ Life-Changing Bills
Cates-Carney, NPR
When a patient needs an air ambulance, the first priority is getting them needed care as fast as possible. Patients don't always know who is going to pick them up or if the ambulance is an in-network provider. That can make a huge difference — and lead to huge bills.

Mistrust of Medicine Fuels Ala. TB Outbreak
Alan Blinder, N.Y. Times
Residents, local officials and medical experts said the struggle against the outbreak could be traced to generations of limited health care access, endemic poverty and mistrust — problems that are common across the rural South.

Antibiotic-Resistant Gonorrhea Is Growing Threat
Alan Mozes, HealthDay
Public health experts are expressing growing anxiety over the prospect of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea.

Meaningful Use Is Not Dead: It's Reincarnated
Linda Girgis, MedCity
CMS hinted that they heard our concerns over the ill-devised MU program. However, our voices are not what killed it: the technology and EHR vendors did. A key functionality of MU was supposed to be interoperability.

Talking about Drug Prices Can Reduce Drug Prices
Austin Frakt, Upshot
The mere threat of government price controls may have a moderating effect on drug prices. There’s strong evidence it did so as the ill-fated Clinton administration health plan was being developed in the early 1990s. Today, with the high price of drugs and proposals to address them so prominent in the news, there are early signs it may do so again.

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Making the most of your prescription drug benefits helps you get healthy faster and stay healthy longer, while keeping costs in check. Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies are helping people understand how to maximize their benefits so they can get the effective medicines they need at the most affordable price. Learn more.

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