What’s New in Health Care Reform: March 23

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What's New in Health Care Reform provides an overview of the past week’s news, updates, and commentary in health care reform and utilization management.


Medicare Proposal Takes Aim at Diabetes

The Obama administration plans to propose expanding Medicare to cover programs to prevent diabetes among millions of people at high risk of developing the disease, marking the sixth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act with the prospect of a new benefit, federal officials said. Via NY Times.

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White House Tries (Again) To Sell Obamacare, This Time With a Cartoon

The Obama administration is trying once again to address a criticism that has dogged the president ever since his health care bill passed six years ago: they need to sell it better. And this time, they’re paying a lot more attention to the medical side — the parts that no one outside of a narrow circle of health care wonks really understands. Via Stat News. 

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Health Insurance Gains Due to Obama’s Law, Not Economy

There's growing evidence that most of the dramatic gain in the number of Americans with health care coverage is due to President Barack Obama's law, and not the gradual recovery of the nation's economy. Via AP.


Disputed Health Law Rule Would Broaden Transgender Rights

Big companies are pushing back against proposed federal rules they say would require their medical plans to cover gender transition and other services under the nondiscrimination mandate of President Barack Obama's health care law. Via AP.


White House To Lay Out ‘Next Chapter’ For Obamacare

The White House is looking to avoid a partisan flare-up as it rings in the sixth anniversary of Obamacare this week. In a series of events, the Obama administration will look beyond the law’s central issues of access and affordability and explore the “next chapter” of health care reform. Via The Hill.

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Study: Satisfaction With Health Plans Hits Highest Point Post-Affordable Care Act

Customers are the most satisfied with their commercial health insurance plans since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010, according to the J.D. Power 2016 Member Health Plan Study. The study also found that members from regions with more competition in the industry were more satisfied than plan members from areas with less competition. Via Morning Consult.


FDA To Require Risk Warnings on Opioid Packaging

The packaging of immediate release opioids will be required to warn prescribers and patients of the risks of misuse, abuse, addiction, overdose and death, the Food and Drug Administration announced. The FDA will also require additional safety labeling across all opioids, according to a release. Via Morning Consult.


U.S. Must Combat Fraud In Federal Health Marketplace

The federal government should do more to prevent people from fraudulently obtaining health insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. Government Accountability Office said in testimony to the Senate Finance Committee. Via Reuters.

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Biden Names Leader For ‘Moonshot’ Cancer Campaign

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. announced a corporate executive to lead his “moonshot” cancer initiative, selecting an expert who began work in 2003 to lower barriers between science and cures. Greg Simon, 64, who will be named executive director, took a job he may get to keep for only the last 10 months of the Obama administration. Mr. Simon, who is battling cancer himself, said he understood the urgency of the task. Via NY Times.

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Republicans Opt for Budget Savings Over Voters’ Health Coverage

A GOP budget proposal that cleared the Budget Committee this week is going nowhere. But it is still worth analyzing as a philosophical statement of health policy. It would strip health care coverage from some 35 million people in order to achieve drastic budget savings. Most of these people are low-income. Via Morning Consult.

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Andy Tofilon

Andy Tofilon is a Marketing Segment Manager at Mayo Medical Laboratories. He leads strategies for corporate communications, public relations, and new media innovations. Andy has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2003. Outside of work, Andy can be found running, hiking, snapping photos, and most importantly, spending time with his family.