RealClearHealth Morning Scan -- 01/28/2016

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Cruz Assails Trump over Abortion, 'Trumpcare'
Katie Glueck, Politico
Ted Cruz accused Donald Trump of embracing “socialized medicine” and accepting partial-birth abortion. He mocked “gentle Donald” for being “frightened” by debate moderators and offered up details for a one-on-one debate. He pushed the term “Trumpcare.”

Analyist: Sanders' Plan Is Too Good To Be True
Jonathan Cohn, HuffPo
According to analysis from Emory University professor Kenneth Thorpe, a former Clinton administration advisor who has also done paid work for health industry clients, Sanders has wildly underestimated the cost of providing such comprehensive benefits to all Americans.

What Would Single-Payer Mean for Doctors?
Joyce Frieden, MedPage
The idea of a single-payer healthcare system has come back into prominence lately with the release of a single-payer healthcare proposal by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination. But what would it mean for doctors?

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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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Few Doctors Account for Big Share of Malpractice
Karen Pallarito, HD
Just 1 percent of active U.S. physicians are responsible for nearly a third of the nation's paid malpractice claims, a new study finds.

Anthem Sees Obamacare Premiums Rising in 2017
Z. Tracer, Bloomberg
Anthem is eking out a small profit from selling policies to individuals under the Affordable Care Act. Many of its rivals aren’t, though, which means prices have to go up, the company told investors and analysts on Wednesday.

Theranos Lab May Pose Threat to Patient Safety
Reed Abelson, NYT
The most pressing concern involves Theranos’s hematology testing, according the letter, where the company’s failure to meet regulators’ clinical standards could be harmful to patients. Those tests would typically include counts of red and white blood cells or the monitoring of patients who are on blood thinners.

Officials Call for Stronger Efforts to Combat Drug Abuse
Whalen, WSJ
At a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee, they argued for more federal funding, wider access to substance-abuse treatment and stricter rules for painkiller prescribing to fight the main driver of soaring drug overdose rates. More than 47,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2014—about 1.5 times as many as died in car crashes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Senate GOP Plots Next Steps on Opioid 'Epidemic'
J. Carney, The Hill
The Senate's Republican leadership is eyeing a path forward to tackle drug addiction as the issue comes under increasing scrutiny in the 2016 election.

Hospitals Prepare to See Stars in April
Sabriya Rice, Modern Healthcare
The CMS has shared the methodology behind five-star hospital quality ratings that will be published this April on Medicare's Hospital Compare website. The American Hospital Association gives the methodology a low score.

Cancer Leaders Urge Wider HPV Vaccinations
Ackerman, Houston Chron.
The nation's top cancer centers Wednesday urged increased vaccination against a sexually transmitted virus that can cause a number of tumors, a rare united effort born of frustration that an effective weapon against the disease isn't being fully utilized.

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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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