Good morning ... Happy Friday and, at long last, welcome to spring weather.
The New Jersey legislature yesterday approved two big bills designed to counteract some of President Trump's changes to the Affordable Care Act and stabilize the state's individual insurance market.
The bills: One would begin the process of seeking a federal waiver to establish a reinsurance program. The other would create an individual mandate in the state.
Why it matters: Some ACA allies have pinned an awful lot of hope on the states to counteract the administration's policy moves. That's only likely to happen in blue states, and even there, the ultimate effects will probably be limited. But if Murphy signs these bills, they would likely give other blue states some encouragement to proceed.
Go deeper: Freelance health care journalist/analyst Andrew Sprung has written a lot about how these measures could preempt the administration's priorities.
It’s not uncommon for major deficiencies or questionable conduct to exist in hospitals. But Bob Herman notes that reports outlining those quality violations, which could put hospitals’ Medicare funding in jeopardy, are becoming more accessible to the public.
The big picture: “We’re beginning to get more real-time information,” Charles Ornstein, a senior health care reporter and now editor at ProPublica, said at the annual Association of Health Care Journalism conference Thursday. Ornstein has compiled a running list of ways to track hospital quality and highlighted a few worthwhile sources:
In states whose governors and/or legislatures remain deeply opposed to expanding Medicaid, some advocates are turning to ballot initiatives. But it’s an exceptionally hard road.
Maine was the first state to adopt the expansion through a popular vote. Its referendum passed last November, but the expansion still hasn’t happened, thanks to resistance from Gov. Paul LePage — even an attempt to work around LePage’s opposition was stymied by LePage’s opposition.
The same thing could happen in Idaho, where advocates are gathering signatures to try to get Medicaid expansion on the ballot in November.
And yet, as difficult as it is, Idaho is one of the best bets for expansion supporters. States like Texas and Florida have erected even higher barriers, making them less worth advocates’ energy even though they could end up covering far more people.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has a new movie out. The premise is that some normally kind-of-scary animals, like a gorilla and a crocodile, ingest some complexes from the sophisticated gene-editing tool CRISPR, and then become extremely scary and terrorize the city of Chicago.
The delightful nerds over at STAT reviewed “Rampage” not just for its quality as a film, but for its fidelity to the science of CRISPR. So, how does it measure up?
I’m gonna let STAT do the talking:
Bonus: The Rock approves.
Have a great weekend. And, as always, I welcome your tips and feedback: email@example.com.