By Hyeongsu Park and Kathy Wang
- Arkansas adopted the most restrictive abortion law in the country Wednesday, outlawing most abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy. The law, called the Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act, will likely go into effect in August if it survives expected legal challenges. Last week, the state passed a new abortion limit that prohibited most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and the measure took effect immediately.
- The Obama administration said it would require health insurance companies to report all price increases to the federal government so that government officials can monitor the impact of the new health care law and the insurance companies’ compliance with it.
- Gov. Rick Perry of Texas has told federal officials that Texas has no intention of expanding Medicaid. In response, around 2,000 Medicaid recipients and others supporting expansion of the federal-state insurance program rallied at the state Capitol Tuesday, increasing the pressure on Governor Perry and other Republican leaders to switch their stance on expanding Medicaid.
- The dispute over the Medicaid expansion sanctioned by the federal health law has also divided the Florida Republican Party, which controls the House, Senate and governor’s office.
- Healthcare insurance companies expect that the Medicaid expansion required by the new healthcare law will bring significant enrollment and revenue growth.
- Utah lawmakers moved to tax electronic cigarettes, battery-powered devices that heat a liquid nicotine solution to create inhalable vapor, at the same rate as regular cigarettes.
- Just 2 percent of health plans in the private insurance market offer all the coverage that will become mandatory next year under the health care overhaul, a new analysis has found.