Justice Dept. Has Concerns Over Aetna-Humana Deal: Source

July 7, 2016, The New York Times, Reuters- The U.S. Department of Justice has significant concerns about Aetna Inc’s proposed acquisition of health insurer Humana Inc, a source familiar with the situation said on Thursday, sending shares of Humana down as much as 11 percent.Aetna’s purchase of Humana would combine two of the largest providers of Medicare Advantage plans for elderly people, and investors have long been concerned the deal might pose a competition issue for antitrust regulators.

Obamacare isn’t the jobs crusher it was made out to be

July 7, 2016, Business Insider, Bob Bryan- Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, there were some dire warnings about its potential affect on the jobs market. Lawmakers opposed to it raised concerns that small businesses would be reluctant to hire employees for fear of hitting the threshold for providing insurance or that hourly employees would have their hours cut back to avoid hitting full-time status. Those fears, however, have not come to pass, according to B. Ravikumar, of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and Lin Shao, of Washington University in St. Louis.

House Panel Extends Funding For Medicare Program To Help Consumers

July 7, 2016, Kaiser Health News, Susan Jaffee- A House subcommittee voted on Thursday to continue $52 million in funding for a program that helps seniors understand the complexities of their Medicare coverage. Two weeks ago, a Senate committee voted to eliminate it. The measure preserving the State Health Insurance Assistance Program, known as SHIP, is part of a massive spending bill for federal health, education and labor programs, approved by the Republican majority of the House appropriations subcommittee that oversees those departments. Democrats opposed the bill, which would cut money for the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and the Social Security Administration.

Cuts in Health Department put everyone at risk

July 5, 2016, The Sun Herald, Buddy Daughdrill-  From ensuring safe food, safe milk, and safe water to preventing the spread of infectious diseases, from providing emergency preparedness readiness, to promoting healthier, safer communities - these are all a part of the health care system in Mississippi that is called public health. A system that is in place as a first line of defense in protecting you and your community. It protects and benefits everyone. That very system is in jeopardy in Mississippi because our Legislature failed to recognize the need for a basic public health infrastructure designed to protect us all from the spread of disease, to support us through natural and man-made disasters and to promote a healthier and thus wealthier Mississippi.


June 30, 2016, Mississippi Public Broadcasting, Desare Frazier- Seventy-eight percent of Mississippi doctors affiliated with a hospital received payments from pharmaceutical and medical device companies in 2014. That’s according to a new study released by ProPublica, a non-profit online investigative news reporting agency. Mississippi and Louisiana tie for third place nationwide for the number of doctors who received payments. ProPublica Senior Reporter Charles Ornstein.“Hospitals in the south have a relatively high rate of doctors who take payments from drug and device companies.

Study: Mississippi children see highest lead level increase

July 9, 2016, The Clariod Ledger, Anna Wolfe- Children in Mississippi have higher levels of lead in their blood than they did six years ago, according to a study published in the Journal of Pediatrics. The Mississippi State Health Department refutes this data, suggesting children’s blood lead levels have gone down over the past several years. Data from Quest Diagnostics shows that from 2009 to 2015, nearly 10,000 Mississippi children under 6 with high blood lead levels jumped from 3.6 percent to 6.3 percent. This was the highest increase in children with unsafe blood lead levels out of 37-state data set.