Today’s NewsStand – June 5, 2018

Featuring hospital and health care headlines from the media and the Web.

Iowa News

Iowans need clarity on Medicaid savings
Governor Kim Reynolds has complained repeatedly that critics of Medicaid privatization are simply playing politics. But the governor has been around the Statehouse long enough to know where facts and data are lacking, politics will fill in the blanks. And there’s been a lack of facts and data surrounding the Branstad-Reynolds privatization push from the very beginning. Clarity is what Iowans need in this election year, as Medicaid becomes one of the defining issues in the campaign to win the governor’s office and control the Legislature. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

Senator Chuck Grassley: ‘We’ve got to give up’ on repealing, replacing Obamacare
Republican Senator Chuck Grassley last week told people gathered at an Iowa town hall that politicians should “give up” on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. During the meeting Thursday in Orange City, Grassley started answering a question about bipartisan efforts to improve the legislation before saying, “Oh, by the way, we’ve got to give up on repeal and replace.” Grassley told Iowa reporters in September that despite shortcomings in a bill to repeal the law, Republicans had a responsibility to pass it because of campaign promises. (Des Moines Register)

Montgomery County Memorial Hospital’s Xplosion program blasts off in time for summer
The Montgomery County Memorial Hospital (MCMH) began its Xplosion program this week at the MCMH Fitness Connection Gym. Xplosion is a weightlifting program for young adults wanting to improve their strength, speed and agility. It is open to all area young adults and is offered free of charge. According to Kaylee Focht, personal trainer and wellness coach at MCMH, the program utilizes other special areas of MCMH for this program, including Miller Orthopedic, physical and occupational therapy, exercise specialists, personal trainers, an athletic trainer and dietitians. (Red Oak Express)

National News

Outsiders swoop in vowing to rescue rural hospitals short on hope – and money
Nationwide, 83 of 2,375 rural hospitals have closed since 2010. These often-remote hospitals have been targeted by management companies or potential buyers who promise much but often deliver little while lining their own pockets, according to allegations in court cases. Enticed by such outsiders, some struggling rural hospitals around the country have embraced this. Rural hospital boards, however, tend not to have expertise in the health care business. That lack of experience “leaves them vulnerable in many cases,” said Terry Hill of the nonprofit National Rural Health Resource Center. (Washington Post)

Trump’s new insurance rules are panned by nearly every health care group
More than 95 percent of health care groups that have commented on President Trump’s effort to weaken Obama-era health insurance rules criticized or outright opposed the proposals. The extraordinary one-sided outpouring came from more than 300 patient and consumer advocates, physician and nurse organizations and trade groups representing hospitals, clinics and health insurers across the country. Not a single group representing patients, physicians, nurses or hospitals voiced support for the two Trump administration proposals. (Los Angeles Times)

Verma unveils state Medicaid scorecard but refuses to judge efforts
The Trump administration Monday released a Medicaid “scorecard” intended to show how the nation’s largest health program is performing. The report looked at how well states provide a wide variety of health services to children and adults. It also reviewed how quickly the government was approving state waiver requests to change their programs. Yet in a meeting with reporters, Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, refused to discuss the findings in any detail or comment on any individual states that performed poorly or exceptionally. (Kaiser Health News)

Why a higher uninsured rate means more expensive premiums
A new study by the Commonwealth Fund reports that the uninsured rate has been rising since 2016, and about 4 million more Americans are uninsured today than two years ago. One consequence of fewer insured Americans is that premiums will likely rise for the consumers who do continue to buy health insurance, beginning as early as next year. Likely, carriers will use a rising uninsured rate and fewer healthy consumers in the marketplace to justify higher premium increases. (Tennessean)