Good morning. Remember the problems with South Carolina's correctional system from Monday? Well, an investigation by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that at least a dozen Georgian inmates have died due to diabetic ketoacidosis, a result of untreated diabetes.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Red states are getting creative as they look for new ways to limit the growth of Medicaid. But in the process, those states are taking legal, political and practical risks that could ultimately leave them paying far more to cover far fewer people, Axios' Sam Baker reports.
The big picture: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has made it clear that it wants to say "yes" to new limits on Medicaid eligibility, and it has invited states to ask for those limits.
What we're watching: State-level Republicans are waiting for CMS to resolve two related issues: how much federal funding their versions of Medicaid can receive and the extent to which they’re able to cap enrollment in the program.
Several states, led by Utah, are testing the waters on just how far right they can go.
A group of scientists, patient advocates and bioethicists are pushing for Washington to lift the ban on mitochondrial replacement therapy, a procedure that combines genetic material from a mother, father and female donor, Stat News reports.
Where it stands: Congress passed an amendment in 2015 that effectively banned the procedure in the U.S., and it's been renewed every year since.
How it works: The point, at least for supporters in the U.S., is to help babies avoid mitochondrial diseases, which are inherited through the mother's DNA. Other countries have used it as a response to infertility.
Yesterday, UnitedHealth Group posted $3.5 billion of profit in the first quarter — its second-most profitable quarter ever — and collected more than $60 billion of revenue, Axios' Bob Herman reports.
Yes, but: UnitedHealth's stock price tanked by 4%, which consequently dragged down shares of the other major health insurers and hospital chains. Cigna’s stock price plummeted 8%, and Anthem and Humana were close behind. HCA tumbled 10%.
Driving the news: Wall Street remains fearful of “Medicare for All” becoming a reality, and UnitedHealth CEO Dave Wichmann tried to get ahead of the message by telling investors that single-payer would “jeopardize” people’s care.
The big picture: Medicare for All discussions matter far more to Wall Street right now, and that makes the industry’s Q1 financial reports a lot less important.
The first major study on the effectiveness of a workplace wellness program found that it had little impact on health outcomes, spending or utilization, according to a new Harvard study published in JAMA.
Why it matters: Workplace wellness programs have been touted as a solution to rising health care costs while giving employers the benefit of a healthy workforce. But this study challenges that notion.
A lot of readers gave us feedback on yesterday’s lead item about how millions of working Americans lose or change their employer health plans every month, usually through quitting a job or getting fired/laid off.
One point that came up several times: Employees who don’t leave their jobs sometimes have to switch to new health plans, Bob reports.
The bottom line: Employer coverage changes all the time, both when people leave their jobs and when companies decide to tinker with their benefits packages.
Thanks for reading. Here's a photo of what a spa day looks like for an elephant.