Elections & Politics Health

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California Ballot 2016: Pros and Cons of Props 51-56

Californians must decide on 17 initiatives in the November election this year, and those are just the proposed measures of state-wide concern. Never mind the many local initiatives affecting counties and neighborhoods. The...more

Two New England States Pass Legislation Restricting Physician Non-Competes

We’ve written a lot this summer about the Massachusetts legislature’s latest failed attempt at non-compete reform. Two other states in New England, however, are able to claim accomplishments in that regard. Specifically,...more

Worth Another Look: Aging Issues

In January of 2016, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) published a list of the top ten issues that will be before state legislatures across the nation this year. Since Pennsylvania will close out the...more

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. Maine’s Health Exchange Co-op Sues Federal Government & Files for Rate Increase - Community...more

Seattle Ballot Initiative Targets Hotel Industry

According to Ballotpedia, 140 state ballot initiatives in 35 states have already been certified for the November 8, 2016 election. This number does not include the many city-wide measures that will be before voters on...more

2015-2016 Massachusetts Legislative Session Ends

After a mad scramble to take action before their midnight deadline, Massachusetts lawmakers closed the 20152016 legislative session by passing five of the “Big Six” bills on their agenda. Beacon Hill saw a flurry of activity...more

Letter to Colombian President Encourages Grant of Compulsory License for Imatinib

Last month, we reported on letters sent by two Senators and fifteen Representatives to the U.S. Trade Representative, seeking clarification regarding the Administration's position on compulsory licenses. The letters were...more

Washington, D.C. Fall Preview

The heat of the summer has arrived in Washington, and with it, much of the focus of the political world has shifted over the past few weeks to Cleveland and Philadelphia for the Republican and Democratic conventions. This...more

The Physician’s Self-Referral Law – Are Changes Finally Coming?

The Physician Self-Referral Law, also known as the Stark law, prohibits a physician from referring federal health care program patients for “designated health services” to an entity in which the physician (or an immediate...more

Illinois Revises Data Privacy Statute

Earlier this year, Illinois enacted a number of changes to the Illinois Personal Information Protection Act (“PIPA”). The amendments to PIPA, among other things, expand the definition of personal information subject to...more

Illinois Authorized Electronic Monitoring in Long-Term Care Facilities Act: Proposed Amendments

Effective January 1, 2016, Illinois now permits residents or families of residents in long-term care facilities to install cameras or other electronic monitoring devices (audio and visual) in resident rooms. Illinois'...more

States’ Efforts for Drug Price Transparency Stymied by the Pharmaceutical Industry

As we previously reported, in 2015 and early 2016, bills and voter initiatives were introduced in several states that would impose drug pricing controls and transparency requirements on pharmaceutical manufacturers. Of...more

Bill to Make Local Coverage Determinations More Transparent Introduced in House

On July 11, 2016, Reps. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.) and Ron Kind (D-Wis.) introduced the Local Coverage Determination Clarification Act (H.R. 5721), with the goal of modifying the LCD process performed by Medicare Administrative...more

Cybersecurity News & Notes – July 2016 #4

In Case You Missed It: U.S. Major party platforms address cybersecurity. The two major parties have released their 2016 election platforms, both of which include cybersecurity planks. The Republican platform’s perspective...more

President Obama’s ACA Prescription

President Obama recently published an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, JAMA, discussing his signature legislative achievement, the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The President considers ACA’s...more

Insurers Challenge Retroactive Application of New Florida Law that Requires Comparison of Names of Accounts to Death Master File

Amendments to the Florida Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act in 2016 made significant changes to unclaimed property presumptions and insurance company obligations. See § 717.107, Fla. Stat. (2016) (the Act). Among other...more

From The Sunshine State To The Green State: An Overview Of Medical Marijuana Laws In Florida

In Florida, the controversial fight for expanded use of medical cannabis has been led by groups of impassioned advocates who were narrowly defeated on the 2014 State ballot initiative. However, in light of Florida’s recent...more

Worth Another Look: Combatting Opioid Addiction

In January of 2016, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) published a list of the top 10 issues that will be before state legislatures across the nation this year. With little expected on the legislative front...more

Obama Administration, Congress Take Steps to Fight Opioid Epidemic

HHS has announced a series of actions to address the nation’s opioid epidemic, as Congress has cleared the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act for the President’s signature. As part of the HHS activities, the Substance...more

House of Representatives Approves Mental Health System Reform Bill

The House of Representative has overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan bill (H.R. 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act) to reform the nation’s mental health care system. Key provisions of the legislation...more

Recent Congressional Hearings

Congressional committees held hearings on a wide variety of on health policy issues this month before going on summer recess. Notable hearings include the following...more

Addressing the Opioid Crisis

Following the July 13 U.S. Senate's passage of Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), providers, families and communities should evaluate the act's impacts. The reform, S. 524, is viewed as a comprehensive approach...more

Committees Approve Rural Hospital Relief, ESRD Benefits, Medical Countermeasures Bills

On July 13, 2016, the Ways and Means Committee approved HR 5659, which would enable Medicare beneficiaries with end stage renal disease (ESRD) to enroll in Medicare Advantage plans. Earlier this month, the Committee approved...more

Washington Healthcare Update

This Week: Double Issue — Congress leaves for seven weeks, Congress sends opioid legislation to the President…More co-ops fail…The Supreme Court rules on Texas Abortion Case and Washington state Pharmacists and Religious...more

FDA Reorganization Takes on Cancer Moonshot and Other Initiatives

On July 11, 1969, the United States accomplished the almost unthinkable –two men walking on the moon. Conjuring images of that moon landing, President Obama moved forward the “Cancer Moonshot” program at his January 2016...more

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