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What We're Reading: Insurance Talks Sputter; Drug Experts Criticize US; High Court Hears Abortion Case


Negotiations over reinsurance, cost sharing for insurers stall in Hyde Amendment dispute; drug policy experts say more money is needed if leaders want to combat opioids for real; Supreme Court hears free speech case on abortion clinics.

Negotiations Over Reinsurance, Cost Sharing for Insurers Stall

In a blow to insurers, negotiations to fund reinsurance and cost-sharing reductions in the omnibus spending bill stalled Monday night in a funding dispute over abortion known as the Hyde Amendment, Modern Healthcare reported. Two analyses have projected that that reinsurance could lower premiums by at least 40%. The spending bill may be the last chance to stabilize the insurance markets before rates are set for 2019. The Hyde Amendment has never been applied to the Affordable Care Act, which was passed 8 years ago this week.

Policy Experts Say More Money Needed to Combat Opioids for Real

There’s tough talk on opioids from both President Donald Trump and Congress this week, but policy experts say the talk has to be matched with money—say, about $10 billion a year, if the United States wants to get serious about fighting the crisis, Kaiser Health News reported. Trump gave a speech on the issue Monday, calling for the death penalty for dealers, and Congress will embark on a series of hearings this week. However, drug policy experts said more meaningful action is needed to fight the problem, which has cost an estimated $1 trillion in premature deaths, healthcare costs and lost wages since 2001.

Supreme Court Hears Free Speech Case on Abortion Clinics

The Supreme Court hears oral arguments today in the biggest abortion case of the year, Politico reported. The California case centers on free speech and is brought by

anti-abortion “crisis pregnancy centers” that argue that a 2015 state law requiring them to tell women about free and low-cost abortion options violates their First Amendment rights. The law also requires those centers that aren’t licensed to provide medical care to post that clearly. The state of California and abortion rights supporters say the law simply requires the centers to display a written notice about abortion access.

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