(Natural News) A state judge in New Jersey has issued a ruling that may lead to a requirement that all insurance companies will someday have to cover medical marijuana.As reported by Natural Blaze, Egg Harbor resident Andrew Watson signed up for the state’s medical cannabis program in 2014, then attempted to get reimbursed for buying medical marijuana over a three-month period.Watson, who was suffering from neuropathic pain in his left hand after being injured on the job, had a medical condition that qualified him under New Jersey law for medical marijuana. That said, his initial workman’s compensation was turned down.In court, a psychiatrist and neurologist testified on behalf of Watson, telling the judge that by using medical marijuana, Watson would be able to decrease his use of prescription opioids, which would in turn lower any potential dangerous side effects and risk of becoming addicted, which has been deemed a nationwide epidemic by the Centers for Disease Control … [Read more...] about Will medical marijuana be covered by insurance companies?
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(Natural News) When former President Barack Obama and Democrats got together to scheme ways to prevent the Affordable Care Act from being repealed at some point in the future – because they knew it was never meant to be sustainable – they wrote certain provisions into the law to make it nearly impossible, politically, to repeal.And now, six years later, when Republicans finally have a shot at repealing and replacing Obamacare, those provisions are working exactly as planned.The most formidable of those defenses was Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid. Once envisioned as primarily a medical coverage plan for the poorest Americans, Obamacare dramatically expanded the program to cover far more Americans. As of today, 31 states and the District of Columbia voted to expand Medicaid to cover more of their citizens, and while Democrats and Obama claimed that was the “compassionate” thing to do, the expansion is costing hundreds of billions more dollars per year … [Read more...] about Obamacare’s “death spiral” spreading from insurance companies to Medicaid as collapse is imminent
Dive Brief: The U.S. Supreme Court has taken on Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. to determine whether self-funded insurers have to provide information such as how much they are paying hospitals and doctors for employee’s medical costs to the state of Vermont. At the center of the case is the federal Employer Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) that protects insurance companies from having to share their data. Liberty Mutual argues ERISA pre-empts state law, and providing information on a national level is burdensome as different states have different regulations. According to Reuters, 93 million Americans are insured by self-funded plans. Vermont is one of 18 states that have a data collection law for databases that, according to UCLA law professor Allison Hoffman, serve to leverage that data to drive better deals with providers. Dive Insight: The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals already ruled ERISA does take precedence over state law, upholding Liberty … [Read more...] about The Supreme Court case that could have a big impact on insurer health data collection
Heroin use in the U.S. is exploding across all demographics with more than 400,000 people treated in emergency rooms last year for a heroin overdose, almost double the number from 2009, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Perhaps even more startling is the fact heroin overdose death rates quadrupled between 2002 and 2013, up to 8,200 deaths, and in 2013, more than 500,000 people reported past-year heroin abuse or dependence, up 150% since 2007. The most recent study on the economic costs of heroin addiction in the U.S. dates back to 1996 by the MEDSTAT Group in the District of Columbia. The authors estimated heroin addiction cost the U.S. economy $21.9 billion overall, $5.2 billion in criminal activity, $11.5 billion in productivity losses and $5 billion in medical care. However, there haven’t been any recent studies on U.S. heroin addiction costs, but if one calculates the rate of inflation since 1996 at a 2.26% increase annually, … [Read more...] about U.S. suiting up to battle national heroin epidemic
(NaturalNews) By now, everyone is aware that the IRS has been caught red-handed conducting politically-motivated audits of conservative non-profit groups. Non-profits that taught the Constitution or even mildly criticized the federal government were targeted for special scrutiny, and the IRS demanded they turn over names of all their donors and volunteers. “The IRS came under fire on Friday when its Office of Inspector General released a draft of an investigative timeline showing that the agency had played political favorites with nonprofit groups seeking tax-exempt status,” reports the Daily Mail. “In 2010, according to that investigation, the Cincinnati-based IRS office responsible for vetting tax-exempt applications began targeting groups with ‘Tea Party or similar’ words in their names — including words like ‘patriots’ and ‘9/12’ — for tighter scrutiny.” The Obama administration, in other words, … [Read more...] about The same IRS that targeted conservative groups for punitive audits will be demanding your private health insurance records in January