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FDA can regulate e-cigarettes, appeals court panel rules

December 12, 2019

An appeals court panel on Tuesday ruled that FDA is able to regulate e-cigarettes just like it does traditional cigarettes, saying the products are "indisputably highly addictive and pose health risks, especially to youth, that are not well understood."

Appeals courts lift injunctions on Trump admin's 'public charge' rule—but the policy remains blocked nationwide

December 11, 2019

Two federal appeals courts have lifted lower court injunctions blocking a final rule that would allow federal officials to consider whether immigrants are receiving or are likely to receive Medicaid or other public benefits when reviewing their residency applications, but separate injunctions blocking the rule nationwide remain in effect.

Issues with Medicare Plan Finder leads to call for special enrollment period

December 10, 2019

A group of 15 senators on Thursday urged CMS to offer Medicare beneficiaries who have experienced issues with the recently updated Medicare Plan Finder tool an opportunity to change their coverage during a special enrollment period.

A 'deep rift' between Azar, Verma is affecting Trump health policy, sources claim

December 10, 2019

In an exclusive published late last month, Politico reports that a "deep" rift in recent months has emerged between HHS Secretary Alex Azar and CMS administrator Seema Verma that sources say has delayed some of the Trump administration's health care initiatives, including an Affordable Care Act replacement plan.

CDC data shows significant slowdown in new vaping-linked illness cases

December 9, 2019

CDC data updated last week shows the number of reported hospitalized cases of a lung illness officials believe is linked to e-cigarette use and vaping, dubbed EVALI, reached 2,291 as of Dec. 3—an increase of just one new case since CDC's Nov. 20 update.

More teens are using tobacco. See the rise, charted.

December 9, 2019

More than six million middle and high school students reported recently using tobacco in 2019, marking the highest prevalence of youth tobacco use since 2000, according to new data from CDC's annual National Youth Tobacco Survey—and e-cigarette use was a key driving factor.

'Silver loading' lowered premiums for some rural exchange plan enrollees, study finds

December 9, 2019

A recent Health Affairs study found that some exchange plan enrollees in rural areas paid slightly lower premiums than their urban counterparts in 2018 and 2019 because of a practice among health insurers known as "silver loading."

US health spending growth accelerated last year. Here's why.

December 6, 2019

U.S. health spending growth increased at a faster rate in 2018 when compared with 2017, in part because the net cost of health insurance rose more quickly due to the return of the Affordable Care Act's health insurance tax, according to a CMS report released Thursday.

Nearly 700,000 adults could lose food stamps under new rule

December 6, 2019

The Trump administration on Wednesday finalized a rule that will strengthen work requirements in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)—a move that experts say could eliminate SNAP benefits for 688,000 adults.

Virginia governor hits pause on state's Medicaid work requirement plans

December 6, 2019

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) on Wednesday announced the state is dropping efforts to approve work requirements for Medicaid beneficiaries after Democrats last month won control of the state legislature, making it the latest state to "pause" work requirements amid challenges to the program.

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