On July 22, 2014, two federal appeals courts handed down opposing rulings on the legality of tax credits to reduce the cost of health insurance premiums purchased in the 36 states with federally facilitated exchanges. In those states, 4.7 million individuals receive tax subsidies, averaging $264 per month, to make their premiums affordable. No changes are anticipated in the availability of tax subsidies during the appeal of these decisions. Pundits are betting that the ultimate stop for the cases will be the U.S. Supreme Court. 

While marijuana use for medicinal purposes has been on the legislative agenda in many states outside the Southern region for a number of years, Southern state legislatures only recently have begun to grapple with the complexities of the issue. Many Southern lawmakers cite stories of families with children suffering from severe seizure or muscular disorders as the impetus for the push toward some form of legalization. But for every family that puts a face on the issue, lawmakers are confronted with a plethora of questions about the science behind medical marijuana and about ways to implement a program in their state.

As we enter July, football programs across the country are ramping up efforts to prepare for the upcoming season. While this is business as usual for many coaches, this season will be the first after all 50 states have passed legislation pertaining to sports-related traumatic brain injuries.

Mississippi, in January 2014, became the last state to adopt legislation started by Washington in 2009. Washington’s...

Oregon’s coordinated care organizations (CCOs), a new coordinated care and payment model authorized by the state’s legislature in 2012, have lowered ER visits and hospitalizations.

Last week, Colorado Gov. Hickenlooper announced very good news for his state. Teen birth rates had fallen 40 percent from 2009 through 2013. The drop moved Colorado from the 29th lowest teen birth rate in the nation in 2009...

Supreme Court Justices aren’t usually in the advice-giving business.  But the Chief Justice made an exception in a recent case involving regulating speech outside abortion clinics.  Interestingly, his advice is aimed directly at state legislatures.  And it is simple.  Buffer zone:  no.  State statutes criminalizing injury, intimidation, interference, harassment, and obstruction at clinics: yes.

Dr. James Mold believes the health care profession can learn a lot from farmers. When farmers have a problem, many times they’ll look to the network of cooperative extension agents spread across counties in a state. Mold believes creating a similar extension service network can provide that same support for health care providers.

Which states have the highest rates of avoiding preventable deaths? How does the Midwest compare to the nation in providing equitable access to health care?
The most recent edition of a Commonwealth Fund report aims to provide policymakers with the tools to start answering these questions — and look for the best policies for maximizing health system performance.

The State Health Care Spending Project, an initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts and the MacArthur Foundation, has recently published two reports.

The first report is entitled: State Health Care Spending on Medicaid: A 50-state study of trends and drivers of cost. This report is the first in a series of 50-state studies examining seven key areas of state health care spending- Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance...

Today the federal government announced proposed rules to allow current customers of state and federal health insurance exchanges to auto-enroll for 2015 coverage. The rule will allow a simple way for consumers to renew their same plan. On the other hand, if they want to shop for a new plan and choose to make changes, they can use the exchanges during the next open enrollment period scheduled for Nov. 15, 2014 to Feb. 15, 2015. 

The proposed rules bring the exchanges into line with today's...

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