One of the largest nonprofit health care systems in the Untied States on Thursday settled a Justice Department lawsuit alleging it negotiated unlawful contacts that prevented patients from accessing less expensive physicians and hospitals.
Health Care Reform
News coverage, opinion and information on health care reform and health care policy including the Affordable Care Act.
By Tom Howell Jr. - The Washington Times
The Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday it plans to ban flavored cigars and menthol cigarettes, and restrict the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, saying the U.S. must reverse a ballooning "epidemic" of teen use. Published November 15, 2018
In January, Democrats will hold the majority in the House, dealing a crushing blow to much of the legislative agenda advanced by President Trump and Republicans on Capitol Hill.
While doctors attribute high blood pressure to risk factors of age and family history, research published Wednesday argues that the Western lifestyle is more directly responsible for the silent yet deadly condition of heart disease, the No. 1 cause of death globally.
Exercise is known to have countless health benefits, both physical and mental, but new research shows it can also be an effective tool in helping people prevent relapse of drug use.
Senators on both sides of the aisle want to bring back a bipartisan "reinsurance" plan, in which federal dollars blunt the costs of pricey customers in states' markets, so everyone else can pay less.
Facing intense pressure from the Trump administration, the nation's leading e-cigarette maker said Tuesday it will clamp down on teen use by shuttering its social media accounts and yanking flavored products from the 90,000 retail shops where they're sold.
Federal researchers published updated guidelines on exercise and physical activity on Monday, stressing that any movement is beneficial than none at all in an effort to reduce and prevent a number of medical conditions and chronic diseases.
Promises of leading the anti-Trump resistance weren't a magic bullet in last week's elections.
Lawyers for Catholic nuns who challenged the Obama-era "contraception mandate" cheered the Trump administration's expanded carve-out Thursday, saying they hoped the final rules would end "a long and unnecessary culture war fight."
The Senate's top Republican admitted Wednesday that the party's hopes for repealing Obamacare are dead in Congress after Democrats captured control of the House, leaving in place a law that few think is working.
The Trump administration on Wednesday finalized rules that allow a wide range of employers to duck Obamacare's contraceptive mandate by claiming "sincerely held religious beliefs" or a moral objection.
Doctors believe the herbal supplement kratom caused newborns to exhibit withdrawal symptoms, as federal officials seek to classify the Southeast Asian plant as a dangerous opioid and activists defend it as a harmless pain reliever.
Three ruby-red states voted Tuesday to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, meaning more than 300,000 people will be eligible for taxpayer-funded insurance once Republican governors begin drawing down federal funds.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar wants to make prescription drug pricing more transparent. We agree, but his well-intentioned plan will only confuse and mislead consumers. What's the good of listing drug prices in advertising if almost no one pays that "list price?" When patients say, "My drugs are too expensive," they're not talking about the list price — they're talking about their co-pays at the pharmacy.
Two months after oral arguments, a federal judge hasn't said whether a Republican tweak to Obamacare should stop the entire program in its tracks, pushing an explosive fight over the law beyond the midterms and forcing voters to decide which party can be trusted to balance protections for pre-existing conditions with affordable coverage.
Several issues dominate the midterm elections this week: The roaring economy, migrant caravans on a mysteriously swift journey to the United States, health care reform and leftist mobs protesting almost nonstop.
Opioid overdose deaths hit the highest level ever recorded in the United States last year, with an estimated 200 people dying per day, according to a report by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Former President Obama on Thursday stepped into the midterm fight over insurance for sicker Americans, saying protections built into his signature health law are "absolutely at stake" on Election Day.
The federal website where consumers can get health insurance under the Affordable Care Act was up and running Thursday after a slow start as sign-up season for 2019 opened days before the midterm elections.
The obesity epidemic in the U.S. has cost the U.S. economy $1.72 trillion, which includes hundreds of billions of dollars in health care costs and more than a trillion dollars in lost productivity, according to a report published Tuesday by the Milken Institute, a California-based economic think tank.
President Trump's fiddling with Obamacare will cause premiums for mid-tier health plans to be 16 percent higher than they would have been if he'd left the program alone, a nonpartisan study said Friday.
Health Secretary Alex Azar said President Trump's bid to tie what the U.S. government pays for certain Medicare drugs to what other nations pay won't cripple innovation or access to vital treatments, even if the plan is one of Big Pharma's "ultimate nightmares."
The Trump administration said Friday it's reactivated an Obamacare signup tool for insurance agents and brokers after a cyber breach exposed 75,000 individuals' private files.
The Justice Department will create a task force to target prescription opioid abuse in the Appalachian region, as part of a series of measures to fight a drug epidemic that has claimed the lives of 72,000 Americans, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Thursday.
The pharmaceutical industry is fighting back, arguing that consumers should be able to find the price elsewhere and that few people end up paying the list price anyway.
Toward the end of the summer, I wrote in this paper about the need to attack the nationwide opioid epidemic from every possible angle. Nonprofits, local elected officials and our federal government have admirably worked on efforts ranging from reducing the stigma of addiction to tackling over-prescription. But any successes have been stymied by a failure to address the supply chain for the deadliest synthetic drugs that enter our communities every day.
President Trump signed a mammoth opioids bill Wednesday designed to expand treatment options, fund non-addictive painkillers and stop the flow of deadly synthetic drugs from abroad, saying the bipartisan effort will combine with his own efforts put a "big dent" in the problem.
No one is guaranteed a tomorrow, but expectations run pretty high for happy days in the here and now. Americans consider first-rate health care a right tucked somewhere in the Constitution, between baseball and free hot dogs. The lengthy struggle over the proper role of government in facilitating access to modern medicine — including the grinding Obamacare tug-of-war — has reached an exhausting stalemate. With voters soon to pass judgment on the well-being of the nation, legislators at every level would be advised to get on with devising a health care system that Americans can live with. The key could be loosening the bureaucratic rules and enabling states to do what they were meant to do.
Deaths from drug overdoses are starting to "plateau," Health and Human Service Secretary Alex Azar said Tuesday, arguing that the epidemic remains dire but that President Trump's efforts are paying dividends.
States looking to get around Obamacare's strictures will soon be able to use federal money to help people buy cheaper, skimpier plans, so long as they don't also eliminate plans that met Obamacare's earlier requirements, the Trump administration said Monday.
It seems like just yesterday that Democrats were telling us that under Obamacare, "if you like your doctor and if you like your health plan you can keep it."
Far more U.S. hospitals are prepared to deal with Ebola than they were in 2014, when a raging outbreak in West Africa stress-tested the American health system and forced the federal government to rewrite its guidelines for dealing with infectious diseases, a government watchdog said Friday.
Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said Friday he's counting on voters to see through President Trump's rhetoric on protections for people with preexisting conditions, arguing Mr. Trump's policy foibles and hands-off approach to a lawsuit that threatens Obamacare belies his claims of "total support" for measures that shield the sick.
The United States was declared "polio-free" in 1979, a feat the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says is "thanks to [an] effective vaccine." But now it's back -- or is it? The government says no, the condition that's been inflicting hundreds with polio-like symptoms is not, in fact, polio. It's polio-like. It's polio-pretty much. But it's not polio.
President Trump leapt into the election-year fight over protections for people with pre-existing conditions Thursday, saying the GOP will defend them.
Virginia's decision to expand Medicaid under Obamacare will make its first big splash on Nov. 1, when newly eligible people can begin enrolling in coverage that takes effect on New Year's Day, Gov. Ralph Northam said Thursday.
Midterm voters are mostly likely to cite health care as a leading issue, according to a Thursday poll that bolsters Democrats' decision to focus on coverage and care but says immigration and polarizing views of President Trump are crowding the message out.
The campaign of Democratic Sen. Robert P. Casey of Pennsylvania on Monday pulled a TV ad from the home market of Republican challenger Rep. Lou Barletta, after Mr. Barletta called it cruel to his family.
Poor adults in states that refused to expand Medicaid are more likely to say they've gone without needed medical care than those living in states that snapped up federal dollars to extend coverage, a government watchdog said Monday.
The Trump administration said Monday it will force drug makers to disclose the list price of medicines in their television ads, setting up a clash with the pharmaceutical industry, which is resisting such open disclosures.
Premiums for key health plans will drop by an average of 1.5 percent on the federal marketplace in 2019, the Trump administration said Thursday, heralding an "especially gratifying" end to years of eye-popping hikes on HealthCare.gov.
President Trump blasted Democrats on Wednesday for trying to overturn his administration's push to give consumers an off-ramp from Obamacare, warning that their defense of the 2010 law is a path to government-run socialized medicine.
President Trump signed a bill Wednesday forbidding "gag clauses" that prevent pharmacists from telling customers they can save money in some cases by paying cash for their prescriptions, instead of relying on their insurance and making the co-payment.
Senate Republicans turned back a Democratic bid Wednesday to kill President Trump's plan to expand the sale of health plans that fall short of Obamacare's rules, saying Americans who buy insurance on their own need more options, not fewer.
The Department of Justice on Wednesday granted conditional approval of CVS Health's $69 billion acquisition of health insurer Aetna, the department announced.
President Trump pronounced in an op-ed Wednesday morning that a centrist Democratic Party no longer exists and accused liberals of pursuing socialism with their "Medicare For All" plan.
For six years, Republicans won election after election focusing on Obamacare, and now Democrats are hoping to return the favor.
The Trump administration has made important strides toward promoting the so-called "value agenda" in health care — efforts to bring down costs by promoting systems of payment and reimbursement that reward not the volume of care, but instead the value and quality of care delivered to the patient.
A pro-Obamacare group wasted little time Monday in linking Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court and the fate of the health care law, saying a ruling that strikes down its popular protections for sicker Americans is right around the corner and that Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is to blame.
The Trump administration has a $10 billion decision to make. It's debating whether to continue Obamacare's "risk-adjustment" program, which redistributes revenue from insurers with healthier-than-average customers to those with disproportionately sick enrollees.
Mosquitoes cause more human suffering than any other insect, including nearly half a million deaths annually from malaria alone, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports.
President Trump is reassuring voters that he will protect people with pre-existing conditions from losing their health insurance, as Republicans who tried to repeal Obamacare face voters this fall who want to keep some of the law's popular benefits.
Sweeping legislation to combat the opioids crisis hopped closer to President Trump's desk Friday, as House lawmakers voted to expand Medicaid funding for treatment, spur the development of non-addictive painkillers and empower inspectors to root out deadly fentanyl from overseas.
Average premiums for key Obamacare benchmark plans are set to drop for the first time in the program's history, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Thursday, challenging Democrats' claims that the Trump administration had "sabotaged" the law.
The Trump administration cranked its criticism of "Medicare for all" to full blast Thursday, saying a government health plan would wipe out choices and expose patients to the whims of Washington.
Health Secretary Alex M. Azar II said Thursday the average premiums for "benchmark" plans on the federal Obamacare marketplace are set to drop for the first time in the program's history.
The issue of the health insurance tax has been debated nationally at various times, but it has taken on additional urgency yet again.
The House on Tuesday approved a ban on "gag clauses" that prevent pharmacists from telling customers they can save money in some cases by paying cash for their prescriptions, instead of relying on their insurance and making the co-payment.
President Trump on Monday led a United Nation's panel on combating the world drug crisis, saying a robust international effort could save millions of lives.
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams called for a "cultural shift" in how Americans talk about opioid addiction, saying stigma is one of the leading reasons only one in four people with a problem get the treatment they need.
Recent Opinion Columns
Remember Obamacare? The fight is far from over on the future of the Obama-era health insurance overhaul. Republicans are making a list-ditch effort this year to turn the program and the money over to the state. This isn't full Obamacare repeal, but would make a world of sense because states would be free to experiment and find ways to reduce costs and provide better services.
One in three older Americans with Medicare drug coverage is prescribed opioid painkillers, but for those who develop a dangerous addiction there is one treatment Medicare won't cover: methadone.
The Republican effort to repeal and replace Obamacare was dead and buried. The eulogies, such as they were, were over and the Health Care Freedom Act of 2017 was dispatched to a forgettable corner of the graveyard. But when a couple of senators noticed a twitch and heard a groan they pulled it out of its coffin and called the medics.
Recent Blog Entries
Oregon may drop its glitch-laden Obamacare exchange and rely on the federally run HealthCare.gov website instead, according to a new report.
From The Vault
Federal agents carried out the biggest health care fraud takedown "in history" on Thursday, the Department of Justice said, charging more than 600 people across the country with bilking taxpayers for $2 billion through fake medical claims and prescriptions for unneeded opioids.
The Trump administration finalized plans Tuesday to let small companies and the self-employed band together and buy health insurance outside of Obamacare's strict rules, moving to offer coverage to people priced out of the market by the 2010 health care law.
Six states sued a leading opioid manufacturer Tuesday, saying Purdue Pharma used deceptive tactics to downplay the risks of its painkiller OxyContin and helped fuel the addiction crisis.
President Trump said Friday he will put "American patients first" by speeding cheaper drugs to market, forcing companies to disclose prices and leveraging trade deals to put U.S. consumers on a level playing field with those abroad.
The Trump administration said Tuesday it is developing long-lasting medications that wean people off opioids — while slashing the odds of relapse — and overdose-reversing drugs that can compete with synthetics that kill faster than regular heroin.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Monday that President Trump is committed to reducing the number of prescribed opioids and retraining physicians on how to handle pain management.
Food and Drug Administrator Scott Gottlieb said Thursday his agency will be "very aggressive" in warning consumers about opioid-related products or taking them off the market, noting for too long, people thought the U.S. drug epidemic was welling up from the illicit heroin market.
First lady Melania Trump and a sweeping roster of Cabinet members will gather Thursday for a White House summit designed to highlight President Trump's efforts to tackle the opioids crisis.
Alex Azar was sworn Monday as secretary of the Health and Human Services Department, filling a critical seat in President Trump's cabinet that for months had been filled by an acting boss.
When Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. rescued Obamacare in 2012, he ruled it was legal to require Americans to hold health insurance under Congress's taxing power -- and said it was up to lawmakers to kill it, if they wanted.
President Trump, frustrated by the Senate's failure to repeal Obamacare, took his first unilateral steps to tweak the struggling heath care system Thursday by signing an executive order that clears the way for giving consumers more insurance alternatives.
Government officials on Thursday said they're scrambling to keep Americans from getting hooked on opioids in the first place, from cutting the number of pills in circulation to crafting drugs that attack pain without triggering brain receptors that crave another high.
Senate Republicans said Tuesday they're shelving their 11th-hour push to repeal Obamacare, admitting defeat in the face of three crippling defections from their majority.
Medicare enrollees will receive brand-new cards that replace their Social Security numbers with unique IDs, the Trump administration said Thursday, hoping to crack down on the type of identity theft and fraud that's soaking the federal insurance program.
High-profile liberals are rushing to back a single-payer system, signing onto the "Medicare for all" bill that Sen. Bernard Sanders will unveil Wednesday and laying the groundwork for the next big health care fight.
Gallery: 40 Photos
The Supreme Court upheld the individual insurance requirement at the heart of President Barack Obama's historic health care overhaul.
Gallery: 6 Photos
President Obama speaks about the Patient's Bill of Rights and health care reform in the backyard of a private residence in Falls Church, Va.