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Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who was diagnosed earlier this year with glioblastoma and was hospitalized last week due to side-effects of his treatment, is returning to his home in Arizona and will miss the vote later this week on the Republican tax bill. (CNN)
That bill includes repeal of the ACA’s individual mandate provision and Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News told NPR that the immediate effect of that can be summed up in one word: confusion.
So not too surprisingly: in 2018 expect consumers to be more cost conscious when making healthcare decisions. (Huffington Post)
In the trenches fighting overdoses: The Associated Press reports how sheriffs in two neighboring southern Ohio counties in the heart of the opioid crisis take opposing views on the use of the anti-overdose drug naloxone (Narcan).
Is there still hope for stem cells? Yes, say two small companies — Athersys and Mesoblast — and investors believe them. (Reuters)
Words you can’t say at the CDC? A Washington Post report that the Trump administration sent the CDC a list of seven words not to be used in budget documents — fetus, transgender, evidence-based, diversity, vulnerable, entitlement, science-based — was denied in a tweet from CDC director Brenda Fitzgerald, MD. But in an earlier email to staff Fitzgerald did not refute the Post story. (STAT)
California health officials released a list of recommendations aimed at reducing radiation exposure from cell phones, for example, unplug headphones when not on a call. (CBS.SF Bay Area)
Final numbers on 2018 Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) enrollment, which closed Dec. 15, won’t be available until the end of next month, but early reports suggest the total will be 1-2 million short of the 12.2 million that signed up in 2016. Still, a last-minute surge and a rush of first-time users suggest Obamacare’s staying power. (ABC News)
Coming soon: faster tests to diagnose concussions. (STAT)
Another insurer-provider hookup is in the works, with Humana trying to acquire Kindred Healthcare. (Wall Street Journal via Bloomberg)
Morning Break is a daily guide to what’s new and interesting on the Web for healthcare professionals, powered by the MedPage Today community. Got a tip? Send it to us: MPT_editorial@everydayhealthinc.com.