From The Well…

Friday, October 5, 2018




Michigan bans cannabis-infused drinks. The Drinks Business reports, “With an increasing number of industry players announcing interest in cannabis, Michigan has voted to ban all cannabis-infused drinks in a pre-emptive move should the state legalize marijuana for recreational use next month.”


Consulting firm cites three reasons Amazon is serious about healthcare. L.E.K. reports, “L.E.K. Consulting has three reasons to believe Amazon is serious about healthcare. First, as one of the largest private employers in the United States, Amazon would reap huge financial benefits from lowering the high cost of healthcare in this country. Second, the numerous inefficiencies of the healthcare system present enticing avenues for Amazon to explore, and as CEO Jeff Bezos has famously stated, ‘Your margin is my opportunity.’ Finally, healthcare is just the kind of big, complex problem that Bezos likes to sink his teeth into…”



Health care law enjoying popularity. Roll Call reports, “The health care law, known as the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, and its protections for pre-existing conditions are enjoying growing popularity after Republicans fell short in their efforts last year to overhaul it…


“Take the West Virginia Senate race. The most conservative Democrat in the Senate, Joe Manchin III, released an ad … in which he shoulders a gun and shoots a paper representing the pending health care lawsuit that was backed by his opponent, state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey…


“Morrisey’s campaign hits Manchin for siding with ‘Washington liberals’ on health care issues.”


Miller says liberal elites meddling in election. The Washington Post reports, “In every case, Republicans are trying to gain an advantage, or offset the Democratic advantage, by asking voters: Why are Democrats raising so much money in the first place? Several Republicans, including … West Virginia’s 3rd District nominee, Carol Miller, have cited ActBlue, a Boston-based organization that creates a simple fundraising portal for campaigns, as evidence that liberal elites are meddling in their elections.”




Congress approves legislation making it easier for states to expand access to opioid treatment. Pew reports, “In a rare bipartisan effort, Congress approved sprawling legislation — the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018 — designed to make it easier for states to expand access to addiction treatment. President Donald Trump has promised to sign the bill.”


…Politico details what’s in the bill…Politico reports, “Among the changes contained in the bill:


“1) More access to inpatient treatment beds. States will now be able to request Medicaid payment for 30-day inpatient addiction treatment at certain centers, relaxing the so-called IMD exclusion.


“2) Incentives to lure specialists in hard-hit areas. The legislation creates a six-year loan repayment program for treatment professionals in designated ‘mental health professional shortage areas” and in counties hit especially hard by drug abuse.


“3) Telehealth for addiction treatment. The bill lifts old Medicare restrictions barring payment for such treatment outside of designated rural areas and opens up the ability for providers to prescribe MAT via telehealth.”


…Carmichael praises passage…The Jackson News reports, “West Virginia has taken several steps in the last few years to fight the opioid epidemic and a recent action by the U.S. Senate will help with the effort, West Virginia Senate President Mitch Carmichael said ….


“Carmichael praised the U.S. Senate for passing the Opioid Crisis Response Act last week by a vote of 99 to 1.”


…Ferns, others attend DC addiction conference. The Intelligencer reports, “West Virginia Senate Majority Leader Ryan Ferns, R-Ohio, said representatives from states most affected by opioid addiction will work to communicate and coordinate efforts following a conference in Washington last week…


“Ferns was among West Virginians invited to attend. The others included state Health Officer Rahul Gupta; Bill Crouch, secretary of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources; Cindy Beane, commissioner for the West Virginia Bureau for Medical Services; and Huntington Mayor Stephen Williams.


D’s react with skepticism to Justice’s PEIA plans. MetroNews reports, “West Virginia Democrats reacted with skepticism to Republican Governor Jim Justice’s announcement that he intends to commit $100 million to stabilizing the state’s Public Employees Insurance Agency.”


…Blair wants PEIA Task Force subcommittee meetings scheduled as soon as possible. The Gazette-Mail reports, “With the PEIA Task Force coming up on a six-week hiatus without having any meetings, [Senate Finance Chairman Craig Blair, a] task force member, is asking Gov. Jim Justice for an explanation and calling for the governor’s office to schedule subcommittee meetings as soon as possible.”

New York Times profiles Madison residents likelihood of voting. The New York Times reports, “MADISON, W.Va. — Lula Hill voted in just about every election once she became old enough in 1952. Her coal mining family of registered Democrats believed that elections were like church services: You didn’t skip them…

“’I just got to the point, I said, ‘I’m not going do it anymore,’ said Ms. Hill, sitting on a couch in the lobby of the hotel she owns and runs, the Hotel Madison, 30 miles south of Charleston. ‘I just can’t vote for any of them in good conscience.’”


Senate says Supreme Court has no business in impeachment. WV News reports, “The West Virginia Senate says the state Supreme Court has no business intervening to stop the Oct. 15 impeachment trial of Chief Justice Margaret Workman.”


Stuart says medical cannabis may violate federal drug laws. WOWK reports, “Mike Stuart, U.S. Attorney, Southern District of West Virginia, talks to Mark Curtis and expresses concerns that medical cannabis may violate federal drug laws.”



Final sports betting rules filed. Legal Sports Report reports, “Regulators filed the final version of rules for the new [sports betting] industry…, one of the last steps in a process that began more than 18 months ago…


“The PGA Tour, NBA and MLB involved themselves in the process from the very beginning, lobbying lawmakers and regulators diligently. They had an ally in Governor Jim Justice, but ‘Big Jim’ and the leagues were shunned at every turn. The leagues used this interim period to make one last pitch for the mandated use of official league data.


“While it’s not exactly clear what happened behind the scenes, any attempt to amend the emergency rules on behalf of the sports leagues was a non-starter. Lawmakers have to sign off on those rules, and perhaps no state legislative body has been less inclined to include the leagues than West Virginia’s.”


Pennsylvania moving closer on sports betting. The Post-Gazette reports, “Pennsylvania is closer to becoming the sixth state with sports betting.”