The James Group Newsletter Vol. 5, Num. 6: Health Premiums Loom, Fed Money for Opioid Crisis, Wellness Tips, $1.3 Trillion Budget, The Omnibus Bill, GOP ObamaCare Fix, KY Abortion Restrictions, TX Medicaid




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March 26, 2018 

Volume 5, Number 6


In This Issue



Health Insurance Premiums Loom

Federal Money for Opioid Crisis

Simple Wellness Tips

Congress OK’s $1.3 Trillion Budget

What’s Included in The Omnibus Bill?

Vote on GOP ObamaCare Fix

KY: Abortion Restrictions

TX: Medicaid for Family Planning

TJG On Facebook

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The Wall Street Journal: Health-Insurance Premiums Loom As Election Issue
Health-insurance premiums are likely to jump right before the November elections, a result of Congress’s omission of federal money to shore up insurance exchanges from its new spending package. Lawmakers from both parties had pushed to include the funding in the $1.3 trillion spending law signed Friday, but they couldn’t agree on details. A battle has already begun over how to cast the blame for the expected rate increases. Democrats blame GOP lawmakers for the failure of negotiations over the funding, saying Republican leaders demanded the inclusion of abortion restrictions they knew would be unacceptable to Democrats. Republicans say that they negotiated in good faith and that Democrats rejected reasonable rules on abortion. (Armour, 3/25)

Source: The Wall Street Journal

The Associated Press: States: Federal Money For Opioid Crisis A Small Step Forward
The federal government will spend a record $4.6 billion this year to fight the nation's deepening opioid crisis, which killed 42,000 Americans in 2016. But some advocates say the funding included in the spending plan the president signed Friday is not nearly enough to establish the kind of treatment system needed to reverse the crisis. A White House report last fall put the cost to the country of the overdose epidemic at more than $500 billion a year. (3/25)

Source: The Associated Press

The Washington Post: Wellness Is Made Easier With Some Simple Tips
What’s wellness? Sure, it involves your physical form and your ability to deal with disease and other challenges. But wellness also has a lot to do with how you approach the world. Your relationships, your physical surroundings and your habits all affect your body and mind. (Blakemore, 3/25)

Source: The Washington Post

The Associated Press: Congress OKs $1.3 Trillion Budget, Averting Another Shutdown
Congress gave final approval Friday to a giant $1.3 trillion spending bill that ends the budget battles for now, but only after late scuffles and conservatives objections to big outlays on Democratic priorities at a time when Republicans control the House, Senate and White House. Senate passage shortly after midnight averted a third federal shutdown this year, an outcome both parties wanted to avoid. But in crafting a sweeping deal that busts budget caps, they've stirred conservative opposition and set the contours for the next funding fight ahead of the midterm elections. (3/23)

Source:  The Associated Press

NPR: There's No Affordable Care Act Stabilization In The Omnibus Budget Deal
Here's the rundown of what's included in the 2,232-page spending bill, now in the hands of a Senate vote, based on summaries released by the House and Senate appropriations committees. (Kodjak, 3/22)

Source: NPR

The Hill: Senate GOP Leader: 'There Will Be A Vote' On GOP ObamaCare Fix
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (Texas), the No. 2 Senate Republican, said Thursday "there will be a vote" on a GOP bill to lower ObamaCare premiums. Cornyn would not say whether the vote would come as an amendment to the must-pass government funding bill or as a stand-alone measure. (Sullivan, 3/22)

Source: The Hill

Reuters: Kentucky Senate Passes Bill Restricting Abortion Procedure
The Kentucky Senate overwhelmingly approved legislation on Thursday to ban a common abortion procedure once the patient reaches her 11th week of pregnancy, in what would amount to one of the strictest abortion limits yet in the United States. The Senate voted 31-5 in favor of the measure, which now goes back to the state's House of Representatives for final approval of changes to a version of the bill it passed 71-11 vote on March 12. Both bodies are controlled by Republicans. (Bittenbender, 3/23)

Source: Reuters

Kaiser Health News: States Extend Medicaid For Birth Control, Cutting Costs — And Future Enrollment
The Trump administration is weighing whether to allow Texas to receive millions of federal Medicaid dollars for its family planning program, which bars abortion providers. The Lone Star State eliminated its Medicaid-funded family planning program five years ago when state officials said they wanted to specifically exclude Planned Parenthood because the group provides abortions. Dozens of women’s health clinics closed as Texas established a wholly state-funded program that officials say today serves 220,000 women. (Galewitz and Gorman, 3/22)

Source: Kaiser Health News


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