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

Iowa News

Wellmark to halt sales of individual health insurance policies
Iowa’s dominant health insurance company has decided to quit selling individual policies because of tumult in the market stemming from the Affordable Care Act and Republicans’ failed effort to replace it. Wellmark Blue Cross & Blue Shield’s decision means more than 21,000 Iowans who bought health insurance policies from the company in the past three years will need to find another carrier — and it’s not clear all of those people will have another choice. Two other carriers, Aetna and Medica, sell individual policies in much of the state. But they have not yet committed to doing so for 2018. (Des Moines Register)

NFL player brings magical message of hope
On Friday, Jon Dorenbos, a football player with the Philadelphia Eagles. was at Genesis Medical Center’s West Central Park campus is Davenport to talk with youth about dealing with mental health issues. He also spoke as part of Gilda’s Club Quad Cities’ Captivating Conversations fundraiser. It is an understatement to say Dorenbos has had an eventful life. It hasn’t always been great, though and he had his challenges growing up. When he speaks, his message is surprisingly simple: learn to accept the things that have happened; keep someone who is good, who is positive, around and keep trying. (Rock Island Dispatch-Argus)

National News

Kansas House fails to override Brownback Medicaid expansion veto
The effort to expand Medicaid in Kansas fell apart Monday as the House failed to override Governor Sam Brownback’s veto of a bill that would have expanded the health care program to thousands of low-income people in the state. The 81-44 vote, three shy of the 84 needed to overcome the governor’s opposition, effectively ends the Medicaid expansion push in Kansas after it successfully passed both chambers with bipartisan support earlier this year. The legislation would have expanded KanCare, the state’s privatized Medicaid program, to roughly 150,000 people in the state. (Kansas City Star)

With Obamacare here to stay, some states revive Medicaid expansion
In all, 31 states and the District of Columbia have expanded Medicaid after the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010. The majority acted so that the expansion went into effect in 2014. A handful of states, including Louisiana and Montana, that first rejected the expansion have since embraced it. But those efforts face the same political and ideological fights that have plagued health care policy in Washington as states such as Kansas, Virginia and Maine work to expand Medicaid. (NPR)

Trump’s budget would hit rural towns especially hard — but they’re willing to trust him
The president’s proposed budget would disproportionately harm the rural areas and small towns that were key to his unexpected win. Many red states like Oklahoma — where every single county went for Trump — are more reliant on the federal funds that Trump wants to cut than states that voted for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Trump promised that within 100 days of taking office he would introduce legislation to “spur $1 trillion in infrastructure investment over ten years.” He has yet to do so. (Washington Post)

Disabled or desperate? Rural Americans turn to disability as jobs dry up
Between 1996 and 2015, the number of working-age adults receiving disability climbed from 7.7 million to 13 million. The rise in disability has emerged as another indicator of a widening political, cultural and economic chasm between urban and rural America. Disability has become a force that has reshaped scores of mostly white, almost exclusively rural communities, whereas many as one-third of working-age adults live on monthly disability checks. Most people aren’t employed when they apply for disability because full-time employment would disqualify most applicants. (Washington Post/Cedar Rapids Gazette)

Trump aides, lawmakers hold talks to revive health care bill
Top White House officials met with moderate and conservative Republicans in the US House of Representatives on Monday in an effort to revive a plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. Key members of the administration invited a group of moderate Republicans known as the “Tuesday Group” to the White House. The White House would like to see a revised bill come up for a vote as early as week’s end, before the House breaks for a spring recess, said US Representative Chris Collins, a member of the Tuesday Group. (Reuters/Cedar Rapids Gazette)

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