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Posted inHealth

There is more than one Medicare for All

Democrats with 2020 presidential aspirations are courting the party’s increasingly influential progressive wing and staking out ambitious policy platforms. Front and center are three words: Medicare. For. All. That simple phrase is loaded with political baggage, and often accompanied by vague promises and complex jargon. Different candidates use it to target different voter blocs, leading to sometimes divergent, even contradictory ideas.

Posted inHealth

Massachusetts grabs spotlight by proposing new twist on Medicaid drug coverage

In the absence of new federal policies to tame break-the-bank drug prices, Massachusetts’ state Medicaid program hopes to road-test an idea both radical and market-driven. It wants the power to negotiate discounts for the drugs it purchases and to exclude drugs with limited treatment value. Connecticut is watching.

Posted inHealth

Opioid epidemic fueling hospitalizations, hospital costs

Every day, headlines detail the casualties of the nation’s surge in heroin and prescription painkiller abuse: the funerals, the broken families and the patients cycling in and out of treatment. Now, a new study sheds light on another repercussion — how this public health problem is adding to the nation’s ballooning health care costs and who’s shouldering that burden.