Policy-ish : Shots - Health News Who gets what sort of care often boils down to big decisions about policy. Find the latest on the federal health overhaul, the intersection of government regulation and health, and the battle to contain costs.
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Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., is co-sponsoring legislation with Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., to curtail surprise medical bills. Susan Walsh/AP hide caption

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Susan Walsh/AP

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee recently signed legislation making Washington the first state to enter the private health insurance market with a universally available public option. Rachel La Corte/AP hide caption

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Rachel La Corte/AP

The Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Civil Rights has issued new rules protecting health care workers who refuse to be involved in certain procedures for religious or moral reasons. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Alex Azar, secretary of Health and Human Services, announced a new rule requiring drugmakers to publish drug list prices in TV ads. Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

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Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Health care workers may now refuse to be involved with providing services that offend their religious beliefs. The new rule, issued by the HHS Office for Civil Rights, affirms existing conscience protections established by Congress, director Roger Severino says. Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images hide caption

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Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

New Trump Rule Protects Health Care Workers Who Refuse Care For Religious Reasons

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Over the past decade, hospitals have been rapidly building outpatient clinics or purchasing existing independent ones. It was a lucrative business strategy because such clinics could charge higher rates, on the premise that they were part of a hospital. Medicare's recent rule change puts a damper on all that. Hero Images/Getty Images hide caption

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Hero Images/Getty Images

The Massachusetts Alcohol and Substance Abuse Center in Plymouth houses men for court-mandated addiction treatment. Robin Lubbock/WBUR hide caption

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Robin Lubbock/WBUR

Prison For Forced Addiction Treatment? A Parent's 'Last Resort' Has Consequences

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In the Tennessee Capitol, state Rep. Matthew Hill took heat from abortion-rights proponents last month who had gathered to protest a bill he favored that would ban abortions after about six weeks' pregnancy. That legislation was eventually thwarted in the Tennessee Senate, however, when some of his fellow Republicans voted it down, fearing the high cost of court challenges. Sergio Martinez-Beltran/WPLN hide caption

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Sergio Martinez-Beltran/WPLN

Republican State Lawmakers Split Over Anti-Abortion Strategy

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A guard escorts a detained immigrant from his "segregation cell" back into the general population at the Adelanto Detention Facility in November 2013. Today the privately run ICE facility in Adelanto, Calif., houses nearly 2,000 men and women and has come under sharp criticism by the California attorney general and other investigators for health and safety problems. John Moore/Getty Images hide caption

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John Moore/Getty Images

Watchdogs Cite Lax Medical And Mental Health Treatment Of ICE Detainees

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HHS Secretary Alex Azar at a White House roundtable discussion of health care prices in January. Azar tells NPR his office is now in "active negotiations and discussion" with drugmakers on how to make HIV prevention medicines more available and "cost-effective." Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

How HHS Secretary Reconciles Proposed Medicaid Cuts, Stopping The Spread Of HIV

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Surprise bills happen when patients go to a hospital they think is in their insurance network but are seen by doctors or specialists who aren't. PeopleImages/Getty Images hide caption

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Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, a Republican, speaks to state legislators in 2018. Bevin, who is running for re-election this fall, asked the federal government to impose work requirements on many people who receive Medicaid. Bevin's predecessor, a Democrat, did not seek these requirements when he expanded the program under the Affordable Care Act. Timothy D. Easley/AP hide caption

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Timothy D. Easley/AP

One of the Trump administration's proposals would change the prices Medicare pays for certain prescription drugs by factoring in the average prices Europeans pay for the same medicines. Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

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Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

It Will Take More Than Transparency To Reduce Drug Prices, Economists Say

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Dr. Homer Venters, the former head of New York City's correctional health services, says that inmates held in solitary confinement cells, such as the Rikers Island cell shown above, have a higher risk of committing self-harm. Bebeto Matthews/AP hide caption

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Bebeto Matthews/AP

Former Physician At Rikers Island Exposes Health Risks Of Incarceration

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Federal records show that the average fine for a health or safety infraction by a nursing home dropped to $28,405 under the Trump administration, down from $41,260 in 2016, President Obama's final year in office. Fancy/Veer/Corbis/Getty Images hide caption

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There was an uproar in 2018 when a scientist in China, He Jiankui, announced that he had successfully used CRISPR to edit the genes of twin girls when they were embryos. Prominent scientists hope to stop further attempts at germline editing, at least for now. Mark Schiefelbein/AP hide caption

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Mark Schiefelbein/AP

Scientists Call For Global Moratorium On Creating Gene-Edited Babies

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Anna Lange, who works for the sheriff's office in Houston County, Ga., discovered that her health insurance plan excludes transgender services. She is seeking to challenge that policy. Audra Melton for NPR hide caption

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Audra Melton for NPR

The Trump administration aims to boost competition among hospitals and cut costs by letting consumers see how widely prices can vary for the same medical or surgical procedure. But health economists say patients typically have little choice in choosing their hospital. teekid/Getty Images hide caption

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U.S. Hospitals And Insurers Might Be Forced To Reveal The True Prices They Negotiate

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The Food and Drug Administration suggests consumers who get prescription drugs mailed to them via CanaRx are at risk of getting mislabeled or counterfeit drugs. But consumer watchdog groups say the FDA has supplied no evidence that's happened. Hero Images/Getty Images hide caption

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Hero Images/Getty Images
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