First Edition: August 24, 2010

In today's headlines, a federal court judge blocks the Obama administration's stem cell policy. Meanwhile, state action related to health reform and health policy continues.

Insuring Your Health: Health Law Requires Continued Coverage For Patients In Clinical Trials
In her latest Kaiser Health news consumer column, Michelle Andrews writes: “When Richard Crusoe was diagnosed with a rare form of soft tissue cancer called liposarcoma, the retired firefighter and his family pinned their hopes of slowing the cancer's advance on a drug that was being tested in a clinical trial” (Kaiser Health News).

Sebelius, Baucus Rebuked In Mont. Over Health Care
Instead of saying thanks, some residents rebuked Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Sen. Max Baucus on Monday for the very law that could help potentially thousands of asbestos victims here. The health care reform law passed last year expands Medicare coverage for the sick residents of Libby, where years of asbestos pollution from a vermiculite mine made this the nation's deadliest Superfund site (The Associated Press). 

8.4 Million Californians Lack Health Coverage As The Ranks Of The Uninsured Swell, Study Finds
The number of Californians who lost jobs and health insurance probably increased in every county last year, according to a study released Monday by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (Los Angeles Times).

Okla. Court Hears Arguments On New Medicaid Fee
An attorney for Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland's office asked the Oklahoma Supreme Court Monday to strike down a new law designed to raise revenue for the state's Medicaid program. … The law sets a 1 percent fee on claims paid by private health insurers and companies with self-insured health care plans to support Medicaid, which provides health care to low-income and elderly residents (The Associated Press).

Judge Blocks Stem Cell Rules
A federal judge on Monday blocked the Obama administration from funding human embryonic stem cell research, ruling that the support violates a federal law barring the use of taxpayer money for experiments that destroy human embryos (The Washington Post).

U.S. Judge Rules Against Obama’s Stem Cell Policy
A federal district judge on Monday blocked President Obama’s 2009 executive order that expanded embryonic stem cell research, saying it violated a ban on federal money being used to destroy embryos (The New York Times).

Judge Roils Stem-Cell Research
A U.S. judge blocked the federal government from funding research involving human embryonic stem cells, a surprise blow to one of the most promising yet controversial areas of current scientific research (The Wall Street Journal).

Ruling A Blow to Stem Cell Research
A U.S. district judge on Monday blocked the federal government from funding all research involving human embryonic stem cells on the grounds that it violates a 1996 law intended to prevent the destruction of human embryos (Los Angeles Times).

Court Halts President's Stem Cell Expansion
A federal judge in Washington yesterday temporarily blocked the Obama administration's efforts to expand stem cell research, ruling in a case brought by a former MIT scientist and others who oppose embryonic stem cell research (The Boston Globe).

Virginia Can Impose Tougher Abortion Clinic Oversight, AG Cuccinelli Says
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II has concluded that the state can impose stricter oversight over clinics that perform abortions, a move immediately decried by abortion-rights organizations and others as an attempt to circumvent the General Assembly, which has repeatedly rejected similar measures (The Washington Post).

Personal Health: Frank Talk About Care At Life's End
Legislators have begun to recognize the medical, humanitarian and economic value of helping terminally ill patients and their families navigate treatment options as they approach the end of life (The New York Times).

Wired Homes Keep Tabs On Aging Parents
Baby boomers are increasingly relying on sensors and cameras to monitor their parents' well-being. With cameras watching most every movement, starring in what seems like a daily reality show won't appeal to everyone, but some welcome the supervision and company. Part three of a four-part series (NPR). 

Headed To ER? Some Post Waits By Text, Billboard
Need an X-ray or stitches? Online, via text message or flashing on a billboard, some emergency rooms are advertising how long the dreaded wait for care will be, with estimates updated every few minutes (The Associated Press).

Food Safety Bill Still Stuck In Senate
The Senate’s yearlong failure to pass a food safety overhaul has hampered the ability of Obama administration to quickly recall the 600 million eggs connected to a salmonella outbreak that has sickened nearly 2,000 people, experts and lawmakers say (Politico).

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