First Edition: September 3, 2010

Today’s headlines contain reports on a new study showing that employers are shifting the increasing costs of premiums onto workers, efforts to get Congress to weigh in on the controversy about federal funding on stem cell research and the difficulty getting uninsured children enrolled in state Medicaid and CHIP programs.

Employers Push Costs For Health On Workers 
As health care costs continue their relentless climb, companies are increasingly passing on higher premium costs to workers. The shift is occurring, policy analysts and others say, as employers feel more pressure from the weak economy and the threat of even more expensive coverage under the new health care law (The New York Times).

U.S. Employers Push Increase In Cost Of Healthcare Onto Workers 
As employers struggle with rising healthcare costs and a sour economy, U.S. workers for the first time in at least a decade are being asked to shoulder the entire increase in the cost of health benefits on their own (Los Angeles Times).

Employers Push Higher Health Insurance Costs Onto Workers 
The day after President’s Day this year, employees of the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel and Conference Center in Springfield, Ill., got bad news: The hotel would no longer help pay for health insurance coverage for workers’ spouses and children. It had been covering 60 percent of the cost (Kaiser Health News).

Public Hospitals Look To Overhaul Affiliations With Medical Schools 
New York City’s public hospital system is embarking on a long-term attempt to gain more control over running its 11 hospitals by renegotiating longstanding affiliation contracts with some of the city’s most powerful medical schools (New York Times).

Stem-Cell Bill Could See Vote 
As Congress prepares to return for a limited pre-election agenda, Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) said she has picked up wide support for her bill to permit embryonic stem-cell research and expects it will pass this month. Although it has been strongly opposed by anti-abortion activists, she voiced confidence that the measure will be a political boost for its backers as well as good policy (Politico).

U.S. Medical Programs Missing Millions Of Kids-Report 
An estimated five million uninsured children in the United States were eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) but were not enrolled in either plan, according to a new report. The study published on Friday in the journal “Health Affairs” recommended policy reforms and broader efforts to get uninsured children into government medical programs, including the use of income tax data for automatic enrollment (Reuters).

Nearly Half Of Healthcare Workers In California Hospitals Did Not Receive Flu Shots 
Flu season may be a bad time to check into a California hospital–and probably everywhere else in the country as well. In a demonstration of what many experts would call appalling medical ethics, only slightly more than half of healthcare workers in California hospitals received a flu shot last year, despite the dangers that presents for patients. The vaccination rate was less than 25% in 3.3% of the hospitals, according to data compiled by the state health department and obtained by Consumers Union through a Public Records Act request (Los Angeles Times).

Health Law Myths: Outside The Realm Of Reality 
With a law as long and as complex as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, it’s natural people are still a little confused about what it does and doesn’t do. But some things being said or circulated on the Internet about the health law are well outside the realm of reality. It turns out, though, that many of these more outlandish claims have at least some basis in truth (NPR).

Food Safety Groups Slam USDA Egg Graders At Farms In Recall 
U.S. Department of Agriculture staff regularly on site at two Iowa egg processors implicated in a national salmonella outbreak were supposed to enforce rules against the presence of disease-spreading rodents and other vermin, federal regulations show (USA Today).

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