1. OUCH

    Obama OKs Caps on Medical Procedures

    US President Barack Obama speaks at a Walmart on May 9, 2014 in Mountain View, California. Obama praised Friday measures taken by his administration to develop solar energy in the United States, despite attacks and setbacks from his Republican opponents.     AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI        (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

    BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/Getty

    The Obama administration has approved “reference pricing” for insurance companies, which means they can put a cap on what health plans will pay for expensive procedures like knee and hip replacements. Critics of the move argue that this will leave patients with more expensive hospital bills and undercuts the protections put in place in the president’s health-care reform law. Insurers and their advocates argue it’s a much needed tool to reduce costs. Even federal regulators are skeptical, however, recently admitting in a policy ruling that reference pricing “may be subterfuge” on “otherwise prohibited limitations on coverage.” The Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services say they will monitor the effects.

    Read it at PBS