Good morning … This truck is me. I am this truck. This is the act of trying to accomplish basically any task.
Marijuana. Photo: Giorgos Georgiou/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Washington is taking a closer look at medical marijuana as an alternative to dangerous, addictive prescription painkillers, Axios’ Caitlin Owens reports this morning.
The issue: Most states allow the use of medical marijuana, in some form or another. And one study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that states with medical marijuana laws had lower opioid overdose death rates.
Where it stands: Congress is increasingly looking to protect state laws.
Yes, but: There’s a generational divide. Older lawmakers are less receptive to medical marijuana, Gardner told Caitlin.
A federal judge in Kentucky says he’ll rule by the end of the month on the state’s plan to add work requirements to its Medicaid program, McClatchy reports. The judge said he wanted to rule before July 1, when the new requirements are slated to take effect.
Driving the news: Judge James Boasberg heard oral arguments Friday over the work requirements. Advocates were encouraged by a line of questioning about how work rules further Medicaid’s goals as a health care program.
Reminder: Gov. Matt Bevin has said he will back out of the Medicaid expansion entirely if these legal challenges succeed.
Insurers in Minnesota's individual market want to reduce their premiums next year by 7–12%, according to the Star Tribune.
Why it's happening: Minnesota is one of just three states — along with Alaska and Oregon — with federally approved reinsurance programs in place, though more are in the works.
Meanwhile: Proposed rates in Michigan also aren't looking too bad, according to Crain's Detroit Business. The dominant insurer in the state, a Blues plan, is seeking an average 4.2% hike. (Michigan does not have a reinsurance program.)
Why it matters: For all we hear about the role of AI and machine learning in cutting costs for health care, those techniques are only effective if the underlying data is good.
Terms of the all-stock deal were not disclosed, though the two companies are of similar size (about 50 employees each). BetterDoctor CEO Ari Tulla will run the combined company.
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What we're watching this week: The House is expected to vote on roughly 15 more opioid bills. Energy and Commerce oversight subcommittee hearing Wednesday on HHS' cybersecurity.
What are you watching? Let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org.