Good morning … Situational awareness: Both chambers of Wisconsin's state legislature voted overnight to block Democratic Gov.-elect Tony Evers from reversing the state's Medicaid work requirements and to give the legislature more control over future waiver requests.
The nation's primary hospital lobbying groups are suing the federal government to stop a new regulation that will cut Medicare payments for routine checkups in doctors' offices that are owned by hospitals, Axios’ Bob Herman reports.
Why it matters: This suit is another reminder of just how hard any sort of aggressive cost control is.
People near the poverty line who have access to health insurance through the Affordable Care Act are about 25% less likely to fall behind on a rent or mortgage payment than people who don't have coverage, according to a new study summarized in CityLab.
Details: The study compared people who fall into the ACA's "coverage gap," in states that haven't expanded Medicaid, against similarly situated people in expansion states (where there's no coverage gap).
The vast majority of insurance plans sold through the ACA's exchanges continue to offer limited networks of doctors and hospitals, according to a new Avalere analysis.
By the numbers: 72% of the exchange market is composed of HMOs or exclusive provider organizations, per Avalere.
Between the lines: Consumers often have to change plans in order to make the most of their premium subsidies. But in a world with narrow networks, that can also require changing doctors — a tradeoff many people may not want to make.
The next chapter of the turf war between UPMC and Highmark in Pittsburgh — one of the highest-profile local health care dramas — is on the horizon, Bob writes.
Driving the news: Next summer, people with Highmark insurance will no longer have in-network access to UPMC hospitals and doctors, and people with UPMC insurance will no longer have in-network access to Highmark hospitals and doctors.
The big picture: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote an op-ed Tuesday calling on state insurance officials and the attorney general to closely watch how this “divorce” affects people. And the newspaper did not hold back criticism for either side:
“The combatants cannot police themselves and long ago, in the war to destroy each other, lost sight of the sick people who need them.”
Cases of the rare but sometimes fatal infection known as acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, appear to have peaked for the year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. But the CDC is still searching for the mysterious cause of the polio-like infection, Axios' Eileen Drage O'Reilly reports.
Where it stands: Roughly 450 children have been infected with AFM since 2014, according to the CDC. Only one death has been confirmed, but 2 others have been reported.