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The James Group Newsletter Vol. 6, Num. 6: Health Insurance Subsidy Funding, Health Care: Just Fix It!, Surprise Medical Bills, CVS Mounts Defense of Aetna Deal, For-Profit Stem Cell Company, Humana: Centene, FDA: Unapproved CA Drugs for Pts, Quest Diagnostics Breach, Newer Drugs Improving Some Forms of Cancer, States Sue Opioid Maker of Deception, 41 New Cases of Measles, Nontoxic Protective Methods: Mosquitos and Ticks

 

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June 5, 2019 

Volume 6, Number 6

In This Issue

Health Insurance Subsidy Funding

Health Care: Just Fix It!

Surprise Medical Bills

CVS Mounts Defense of Aetna Deal

For-Profit Stem Cell Company

Humana: Centene

FDA: Unapproved CA drugs for Patients

Quest Diagnostics Breach

Newer Drugs Improving Some Forms of CA

States Sue Opioid Maker of Deception

41 New Cases of Measles

Nontoxic Protective Methods: Mosquitos and Ticks

TJG On Facebook

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This newsletter is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended for legal or tax advice, nor does it create an attorney/client relationship between The James Group, LLC and any readers or recipients. Readers should consult counsel of his or her own choosing to discuss how these matters relate to their individual circumstances. Reproduction of any kind is prohibited without the express written consent of The James Group, LLC.

California Healthline: Newsom Proposes Penalty To Fund Health Insurance Subsidies
Claire Haas and her husband are at a health insurance crossroads. If they were single, each would qualify for a federal tax credit to help reduce the cost of their health insurance premiums. As a married couple, they get zip. “We talk about getting divorced every time we get our health care bills,” said Haas, 34, of Oakland. She has been married to her husband, Andrew Snyder, 33, for two years. “We kind of feel like we messed up. We shouldn’t have gotten married.” (Young and Ibarra, 6/3)

Source: CA Healthline

The Wall Street Journal: American Voters Have A Simple Health-Care Message For 2020: Just Fix It!
Nine years after Democrats passed the Affordable Care Act and more than a year after Republicans failed in their effort to repeal it, health care promises once again to be a major issue in the 2020 elections. Drug costs are rising, as are insurance premiums. Rural hospitals are closing. Even as an estimated 20 million people have gained coverage under the ACA, widely known as Obamacare, nearly 30 million people remain uninsured. Surveys consistently find that Americans see the health-care system as broken. (Armour, 6/2)

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Kaiser Health News: Watch: A Status Update On Efforts To Address Surprise Medical Bills
KHN correspondent Rachel Bluth appeared on “PBS NewsHour Weekend” to talk with host Megan Thompson about the continuing problem of surprise medical bills and how the issue is playing on Capitol Hill. Bluth’s interview begins around the 10-minute, 55-second mark. (6/3)

Source: Kaiser Health News

The Wall Street Journal: CVS Mounts Defense Of Aetna Deal On Two Fronts
CVS Health Corp. is expected to defend its acquisition of insurer Aetna Inc. in two high-profile settings Tuesday, seeking to sell skeptical investors and a federal judge on the nearly $70 billion deal. CVS lawyers are slated to be in a Washington, D.C., federal court for the start of an unusual three-day proceeding in which U.S. District Judge Richard Leon is considering whether the Justice Department adequately protected competition when it approved the deal last year. (Kendall and Wilde Mathews, 6/2)

Source: The Wall Street Journal

The Washington Post: FDA Wins Groundbreaking Case Against For-Profit Stem Cell Company
Judge Ursula Ungaro agreed that the FDA has the authority to regulate a procedure that has become widespread in the burgeoning industry — using patients’ fat to create a stem cell treatment. The judge ruled that the FDA is entitled to an injunction ordering U.S. Stem Cell to halt the procedure. The judgment represents a major victory for the government, which has increasingly tried to constrain the industry even as it has rapidly expanded in recent years. (Wan and McGinley, 6/3)

Source: The Washington Post

The Wall Street Journal: Humana Says It Won’t Do Deal With Centene
The unusual announcement suggests Centene’s agreement in March to buy WellCare for $15.3 billion will move ahead, though some activist investors had pushed for the St. Louis-based health insurer to sell itself. Humana, of Louisville, Ky., said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Monday that “in light of the significant investor speculation and persistent market rumors,” it was making a one-time statement to “confirm that the company will not make a proposal to combine with Centene as an alternative to Centene’s proposed transaction with WellCare Health Plans Inc.” Humana said it planned no further comment. (Wilde Mathews, 6/3)

Source: The Wall Street Journal

The Washington Post: FDA To Make It Easier For Doctors To Get Unapproved Cancer Drugs For Patients
The Food and Drug Administration plans to provide “concierge service” to doctors seeking access to unapproved drugs for cancer patients who have no other treatment options, the agency announced Monday. The goal is to remove any “perceived hurdles” for physicians who want to use the agency’s “expanded access” program, said Richard Pazdur, director of the agency’s Oncology Center for Excellence. The pilot program will include Project Facilitate, a new call center run by the agency’s oncology staff to provide a single point of contact for doctors submitting requests to the program. (McGinley, 6/3)

Source: The Washington Post

The Washington Post: Quest Diagnostics Discloses Breach Of 11.9 Million Patient Records
Quest Diagnostics, the medical testing company, said a data breach has affected about 11.9 million patients after an “unauthorized user’’ gained access to financial data, Social Security numbers and medical data but not laboratory test results. American Medical Collection Agency notified Quest about a potential intrusion on May 14 and then reported on the scope of the breach Friday. (Rowland, 6/3)

Source: The Washington Post

The Associated Press: Drugs Make Headway Against Lung, Breast, Prostate Cancers
Newer drugs are substantially improving the chances of survival for some people with hard-to-treat forms of lung, breast and prostate cancer, doctors reported at the world's largest cancer conference. Among those who have benefited is Roszell Mack Jr., who at age 87 is still able to work at a Lexington, Kentucky, horse farm, nine years after being diagnosed with lung cancer that had spread to his bones and lymph nodes. (6/2)

Source: The Associated Press

The Associated Press: More States Sue Opioid Maker Alleging Deceptive Marketing
California, Hawaii, Maine and the District of Columbia filed lawsuits Monday against the maker of OxyContin and the company's former president, alleging the firm falsely promoted the drug by downplaying the risk of addiction while it emerged as one of the most widely abused opioids in the U.S. The lawsuits were the latest by states and local governments against drugmaker Purdue Pharma as the country grapples with an opioid epidemic. (6/3)

Source: The Associated Press

Reuters: U.S. Health Officials Report 41 New Cases Of Measles Last Week
The United States recorded 41 new measles cases last week, bringing the year's total number of cases to 981 in the worst outbreak of the disease since 1992, federal health officials said on Monday. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the number of cases of the highly contagious and sometimes deadly disease rose 4% in the week ended May 31 from the prior week. The 2019 outbreak, which has spread to 26 states, is the worst since 1992, when 2,126 cases were recorded. (6/3)

Source: Reuters

The Washington Post: Nontoxic Methods To Protect Yourself Against Mosquitoes And Ticks
Mosquitoes and ticks can spoil a beautiful day and make people sick. Beyond buzzing, biting, sucking and stinging, they can carry serious diseases. Tiny blacklegged ticks carry Lyme disease. Nighttime biting Culex mosquitoes can transmit West Nile virus and Japanese encephalitis. And the aggressive Aedes mosquitoes — happy to bite any time — can cause Zika, dengue fever and chikungunya. And that’s just a sampling of the troubles they bring. (Sass, 6/2)

Source: The Washington Post

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