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6/23/2017

Republican leaders in the Senate released the "discussion draft" of their health care bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, Thursday that would revise the Affordable Care Act. Jon Greenberg explains what changes the bill contains, with details of the cuts to Medicaid, elimination of taxes and calculation of subsidies.

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Senate, Jon Greenberg, Medicaid
6/23/2017

Newly released Senate legislation would provide a longer timeline than the House bill for phasing out the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion; would not penalize consumers for having a break in coverage; and would link premium support to income, age and geography, rather than just age and tie that assistance to "bronze" plans. Similarities between the bills include the approach to premiums for older adults, pathways for states to seek waivers from essential health benefits and repeal of coverage mandates.

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Senate
6/23/2017

A study in the journal Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental showed that Chinese adults whose immunoglobulin E levels were in the highest quintile had a 31% increased risk of developing prediabetes, compared with those in the lowest quintile. Chinese researchers used a cohort of 8,856 adults and also found that those in the highest quintile of immunoglobulin A concentration levels were 19% more likely to have prediabetes.

6/23/2017

Patients with type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis should be treated with medications that help protect the bones, such as dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor, glucagonlike peptide-1 receptor agonists, metformin and sulfonylureas, according to a study in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Greek researchers reviewed past studies and guidelines, as well as key journals and abstracts, and noted that "avoiding strict targets for blood glucose levels is important for jointly managing T2D and osteoporosis for the fear of hypoglycemia, falls and fractures."

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Diabetes.co.uk (U.K.)
6/23/2017

Researchers found that adults with atherosclerosis who took steps to lower their risk of complications by modifying their lifestyle, such as monitoring their blood pressure, getting enough exercise and avoiding smoking, had total average annual pharmaceutical expenditures of $1,400, compared with $4,516 among those who did little to reduce modifiable heart disease risk factors. The findings in the Journal of the American Heart Association were based on 2012 and 2013 data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey involving nearly 76,000 individuals.

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Reuters
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blood pressure
6/23/2017

An 11-year-old golden retriever dog named Aspen is participating in a study at Duke University Hospital to find out whether therapy dogs can help staff obtain better echocardiogram images in children with heart problems. The dogs are potentially an alternative to sedation, says pediatric cardiologist Piers Barker, and the dogs' behavior and markers of stress will also be monitored.

6/23/2017

The Senate's Better Care Reconciliation Act includes some provisions sought by health plans, which could be enough to prevent some companies from leaving public exchanges next year, but some are worried that steep cuts to Medicaid funding could force them to reduce services for the 75 million Americans covered under the program and cut reimbursement rates. The bill would continue cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers through 2019 and cut an annual fee paid by insurers, but it also would eliminate the individual mandate, which requires all Americans to buy health insurance or pay a financial penalty.

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Senate, health insurance
6/23/2017

Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., Mike Lee, R-Utah, Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Ron Johnson, R-Wis., said in a joint statement that they do not support the current version of the Senate health care bill, arguing that it does not do enough to unravel the structure of the Affordable Care Act, but they expressed willingness to negotiate. Republican leaders can only afford two defections from their party to pass the bill.

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CNN, The Hill
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Senate
6/23/2017

A rural hospital's employee wellness initiative, aimed at night-shift workers, helped prevent holiday weight gain in 88% of the 27 participants, 24 of whom lost weight, according to a study presented at the American Association of Nurse Practitioners' annual meeting. The program included educational emails on obesity and weight gain, and focused on five interventions covering financial literacy, stress management, disease awareness, nutrition and physical activity.

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Clinical Advisor
6/23/2017

The web development company Basecamp is offering employees a host of benefits and perks, including 16 weeks' paid parental leave, four-day summer work weeks, a $5,000 yearly stipend for vacations, as well as home massages and extra money to help buy fresh produce. CEO Jason Fried credits the company's self-funding model with the freedom to implement new benefits whenever it wants, which has resulted in a very low turnover rate.

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Business Insider
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Basecamp, Basecamp, CEO Jason Fried