Correspondent, U.S. health team leader
Lewis's Feed
Aug 23, 2013

Demands to alter Obamacare persist even as launch nears

NEW YORK (Reuters) – As the clock ticks down to the launch of President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform, hundreds of businesses, unions and advocacy groups are still pushing to win concessions on the far-reaching law.

Restaurants want to increase the number of hours that define a full-time worker. Unionized electrical workers are seeking to change the treatment of health plans offered by multiple employers. Medical device companies hope to end a tax against them even though they are already paying that tax.

Aug 22, 2013

California mulls Obamacare exchange backup plan

Aug 22 (Reuters) – California said on Thursday it would
consider a soft launch of its Obamacare online health insurance
exchange if tests of the new system next month show it isn’t
ready to accommodate wide public access.

If the system is not ready, the exchange would at first use
an “aided enrollment” in which counselors help California
residents sign up over the phone or in person.

Aug 6, 2013

Emerson to sell embedded computing unit as charge hits profit

By Lewis Krauskopf

(Reuters) – Emerson Electric Co (EMR.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) reported a 75 percent drop in quarterly earnings on Tuesday, hurt by an impairment charge for its embedded computing and power business, and said it was selling a majority stake in the unit for about $300 million.

Profit and sales missed Wall Street targets. The diversified U.S. manufacturer of industrial controls, power supplies and home-storage equipment said earnings were trending toward the low end of its forecast, which it had cut in May.

Aug 2, 2013

Eaton gives downbeat outlook as profit misses forecasts

Aug 2 (Reuters) – Diversified manufacturer Eaton Corp
reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit on
Friday and cut the top end of its full-year earnings outlook,
citing slower market growth.

Shares of the maker of electrical and hydraulic systems fell
more than 4 percent. Eaton said quarterly sales would have
declined 2 percent without the help of acquisitions.

Jul 26, 2013

Analysis: U.S. chief executives can’t break cost-cutting habit

By Lewis Krauskopf, Patricia Kranz and Lucia Mutikani

(Reuters) – A disconcerting trend lurks beneath the recent round of solid profit forecasts announced by companies ranging from United Technologies Corp (UTX.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to Wendy’s Co WEN.N: More than three years into the recovery, CEOs are still relying on cost cuts to prop up earnings.

While the cuts are not as severe as those that followed the 2008 financial crisis, companies remain cautious, mindful that revenue growth is still tepid. As a result, many appear to be more comfortable wringing efficiencies out of their businesses than gearing up for accelerated production.

Jul 26, 2012

Generic drugmakers Mylan, Watson profits shine

July 26 (Reuters) – Mylan Inc posted second-quarter
profit well above Wall Street estimates, while rival Watson
Pharmaceuticals Inc raised its full-year forecast after
reporting strong quarterly results, and shares of the two
generic drugmakers rose.

Mylan posted strong sales increases for its North American
generic drugs and its EpiPen product for severe allergic
reactions, while some analysts said Mylan’s struggling European
business showed signs of improving. Shares of the drugmaker,
which also backed its 2012 and 2013 profit forecasts, were up
4.6 percent in late morning trading.

Jul 25, 2012

Medicaid expansion in U.S. states found to cut death rates

July 25 (Reuters) – State expansions of the Medicaid health
insurance program for poor Americans reduced adult mortality
rates by more than 6 percent compared to states that did not
broaden eligibility for their plans, according to a study
released on Wednesday.

The findings published in the New England Journal of
Medicine could fuel a political furor over new plans for a
nationwide expansion of Medicaid that erupted after the U.S.
Supreme Court’s ruling to uphold President Barack Obama’s
healthcare law in late June.

Jul 25, 2012

WellPoint cuts forecast as quarterly profit misses view

July 25 (Reuters) – Health insurer WellPoint Inc
posted a lower-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday and
cut its full-year earnings forecast, citing lower enrollment and
higher medical cost trends, sending its shares down 8 percent in

The second-largest health insurer by market value said its
medical cost trends would likely come in at the high end of its
forecast, while intense competition among health plans was
pressuring its enrollment.

Jul 19, 2012

Express Scripts, Walgreen settle pharmacy spat

By Lewis Krauskopf and Jessica Wohl

(Reuters) – Walgreen Co will soon be able to fill prescriptions for Express Scripts Holding Co patients after the two corporate giants settled their long-running dispute, removing a concern that has weighed on the drugstore chain’s shares for a year.

Walgreen, the largest U.S. drugstore chain, will be part of the broadest network of drugstores available to clients of pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts, as of September 15, the companies said on Thursday.

Jul 19, 2012

UnitedHealth profit beats estimates as plans grow

July 19 (Reuters) – UnitedHealth Group Inc reported
an increase of about 6 percent in quarterly profit on Thursday,
beating analysts’ estimates, as most of its insurance plans grew
and medical claim costs remained stable.

The biggest U.S. health insurer by market value also
slightly raised its forecast for full-year earnings, and was the
first insurer to report results since the Supreme Court upheld
President Barack Obama’s healthcare law late last month.

    • About Lewis

      "I help coordinate coverage of healthcare companies for Reuters in the United States. I also cover health insurers, pharmacy benefit managers, generic drugmakers and pharmaceutical companies."
    • Follow Lewis