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This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. The Associated Press: High Court Skeptical Of State Power To Gather Health Data The Wall Street Journal: Vermont’s Effort To Gather Data On Health-Care Costs Faces Supreme Court Test Vermont’s Green Mountain Care Board requires insurers to provide information on payments made to medical providers, hoping that by knowing what is paid for health care it can find ways to keep costs in check and improve efficiency and quality of care. At least 18 other states already have or are setting up similar databases, but Vermont has the boldest experiment in mind: eventually building a single-payer plan that would aim for universal coverage akin to programs in Canada and some European countries. … Vermont’s solicitor general, Bridget Asay, told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that Congress intended to encourage states to collect data that could provide insight into improving care or reducing expenses. She said the 2010 Affordable Care Act, which amended the 1974 law, “contemplated a robust federal-state partnership in health experimentation.” (Bravin and Radnofsky, 12/2) Some legislators and policymakers consider the databases important tools to improve care and reduce costs. (Gorn, 12/2) Reuters: U.S. Justices Cast Doubt On Scope Of Vermont Healthcare Data Law California Healthline: Supreme Court To Hear Case Deciding Fate of All-Payers Claims Databases Members of the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday indicated that Vermont and 17 other states could be prevented from collecting healthcare information from certain employee health plan administrators. The nine justices heard a one-hour oral argument over whether a 2005 Vermont data collection law aimed at improving the quality of healthcare applies to self-funded insurance plans, which are most commonly used by large companies. (12/2) High Court Hears Oral Arguments On Vermont Health Care Data Law Some of the state insurers argued that federal law bars states from requiring insurers to supply data on the costs and outcomes of their services. But some policymakers counter that these databases are important in the effort to improve quality of care and control costs. The Supreme Court on Wednesday appeared skeptical that state officials have the power to require health insurers to turn over reams of data revealing how much they pay for medical claims. Most of the justices seemed to agree during a one-hour argument that efforts by Vermont and other states to collect and publicize the data conflict with federal law governing certain health plans. (Hananel, 12/2)