Less Potent Medicine, Savings Plans for Disabled, Uninsured Penalties,
OTC Pain Relievers, Anthem-Cigna Merger, New VA Leader, Humana
& the ACA Exchange


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February 22, 2017 

Volume 4, Number 3

In This Issue

What Makes Medicine Less Potent

Savings Plan for Those with Disabilities  

Do Uninsured Still Face Penalties

Picking the Right OTC Pain Reliever

Anthem-Cigna Merger Blocked

First Nonveteran to Lead VA

Humana Pulling Out of ACA Insurance Exchange

  TJG On Facebook

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NPR: Heat, Humidity And Aging Make Medicine Less Potent Most of us have reached for a painkiller, at one time or another, only to discover the date on the label shows it's expired. But what does an "expiration" date on medicine really mean? Is it dangerous if you take it anyway? Less effective? It turns out that date stamped on the label actually means a lot. It's based on scientific evidence gathered by the manufacturer showing how long the drug's potency lasts. (Neighmond, 2/6)

Source: NPR

The Associated Press: People With Disabilities Finally Get A Way To Save Money Justin Bainbridge is 27 and works two jobs, but he wasn't allowed to start saving money for his future until a few months ago. Bainbridge has Down syndrome, and like other people with disabilities who receive government benefits, he can't have more than $2,000 in savings. If he does, he would start to lose those much-needed benefits. But a new type of savings vehicle is giving Bainbridge, and others, a chance to save more cash. (2/1)

Source: The Associated Press

Kaiser Health News: If Obamacare Is Being Repealed, Do The Uninsured Still Face Penalties? Michelle Andrews writes: "In some recent emails, readers asked about what to expect as Republicans move to overhaul the health law. Should people bother paying the penalty for not having health insurance when they file their taxes this year? Will they be able to sign up on the exchange for 2018 after their COBRA benefits end? Here are some answers." (Andrews, 2/7)

Source: Kaiser Health News

The New York Times: Picking The Right Over-The-Counter Pain Reliever Picking the pain reliever that’s best for you can be a confusing task. Pharmacy and supermarket shelves are lined with a dizzying array of boxes, names and labels describing the symptoms the medications are intended to address.While they all share the same goal, making you feel better, their active ingredients vary, and all have potential drawbacks. (Mele, 2/6)

Source: The New York Times

The New York Times: Judge, Citing Harm To Customers, Blocks $48 Billion Anthem-Cigna Merger The ruling, by Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia, came two weeks after another federal judge blocked a proposed $37 billion merger between Aetna and Humana on antitrust grounds. Judge Jackson wrote in her order that she found the Justice Department’s arguments against the deal persuasive, and that putting Anthem and Cigna together would harm customers. (de la Merced and Picker, 2/8)

Source: The New York Times

NPR: Senate Confirms First Nonveteran To Lead VA Over the past two years, Shulkin oversaw the implementation of the Veterans Access Choice and Accountability Act, a $16 billion congressional fix for the long wait times for veterans seeking care. But an NPR investigation found that the fix itself is broken: A $10 billion program to help veterans get care in the private sector resulted in mountains of red tape, and a $2.5 billion hiring program didn't significantly increase the hiring of new doctors and nurses inside the VA. (Lawrence, 2/13)

Source: NPR

The New York Times: Humana Plans To Pull Out Of Obamacare’s Insurance Exchanges Humana announced on Tuesday that it would no longer offer health insurance coverage in the state marketplaces created under the federal health care law, becoming the first major insurer to cast a no-confidence vote over selling individual plans on the public exchanges for 2018. President Trump immediately seized on the company’s decision as evidence that the Affordable Care Act needed to be repealed and replaced. “Obamacare continues to fail,” he said on Twitter. (Abelson, 2/14)

Source: The New York Times


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