What We're Reading: Stabilizing Health Markets; DC's Death With Dignity Law; New Medicare Cards

Senate Panel Moves Forward on Stabilization Bill

With the September 27 deadline for insurers to sign contracts to sell insurance on HealthCare.gov fast approaching, the Senate’s health panel has to move quickly to stabilize the insurance markets. According to The Hill, the panel expects to have a bipartisan bill sometime early next week that can pass the Senate by the end of the month. The stabilization bill is expected to fund the cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers, allow more people to buy catastrophic plans, and give states more flexibility.

Vote to Repeal DC’s Death With Dignity Law

The House of Representatives has passed a bill that would block the District of Columbia’s assisted suicide law. The bill also blocks DC from subsidizing abortion for low-income individuals, The Washington Post reported. The Senate still has to weigh in, and if it chooses not to act, then it would stall these measures from taking effect. The assisted suicide law passed the DC Council by a vote of 11 to 2 after more than a year of discussion. It would allow terminally ill patients to choose how and when they died.

New Medicare Cards in the Mail

All 60 million beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare will receive new cards created to combat identify theft and fraud. The agency is beginning its outreach campaign and the rollout for the new cards will begin in April, according to NPR. The new cards will include new ID numbers that are a randomly generated sequence of 11 numbers and letters—until now, Medicare used people’s Social Security numbers.