FOCUS OF THE WEEK

Fifty years ago today, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the law that created Medicare and Medicaid, setting in motion not only the greatest change in healthcare in the nation's history at that point, but also a lasting change for society.
A quirk in Alaska law allowed Governor Bill Walker to move ahead without support from the legislature.
Officials say the number of enrollees and their relative good health made it possible to negotiate lower rate increases. However, premium increases are higher in Northern California, where there is less competition.
The HHS Secretary told the National Governors Association that she needed their help in fighting substance abuse and in moving the healthcare system from a volume-based to a value-based system.
Recent surveys have found that public sentiment on drug costs runs high and crosses the political divide. A move this week by the nation's leading oncologists to rein in therapy pricing may be a sign that this is the breakthrough issue of the presidential campaign.
Some safety-net hospitals are seeing the best bottom lines in years. But for those in states that refused to expand Medicaid, little has changed.
Since the adoption of the Affordable Care Act, CMS has removed 28,000 questionable providers from Medicare. But the Government Accountability Office found more needs to be done to verify addresses and weed out those who have lost their licenses.
The new law was part of a 21-bill package to fight one of the nation's highest rates of opioid and heroin abuse.
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