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Morning Read: Will the Iowa caucuses teach us about the future of healthcare? (Let’s hope not)

Also, Britain OKs gene editing in the human embryo, Illumina makes new biobank deals and we’ll get a peek at Google’s healthcare numbers today.

Donald Trump healthcare

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There’s some little event in Iowa today and there’s a strong belief that despite the talk of immigration, ISIS, private e-mail servers, gun control and Megyn Kelly that healthcare is the issue and will remain so throughout the campaign. To really know healthcare’s influence in the primaries, keep a sharp eye on the 24 hours after the polls: how the industry groups change their tone and prominence in the political debate, the exit polls and interviews out of Iowa, the positioning of politicians in Washington, and any “voluntary” changes on health pricing by payers and pharma. – The Health Care Blog, STAT, Des Moines Register

Well, that’s not dramatic: Scientists in Britain have been given the go-ahead to edit the genes of human embryos for research, “using a technique that some say could eventually be used to create ‘designer babies.’ ” I’ll take my designer baby in tangerine, please. – Reuters

LIFE SCIENCES

Illumina said today it signed four separate biobanking deals with Vanderbilt University, University of Colorado at Denver, Partners HealthCare and Montreal Heart Institute in which Illumina will genotype the samples at each locale. – Business Wire

Smith & Nephew CEO Olivier Bohuon has been diagnosed with cancer and plans to remain at the helm while he gets treated. – Bloomberg

Someone with a Forbes account thinks the biotech bubble has burst. – Forbes

Meet Mark Long, who runs the University of Florida’s Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator. – Gainesville Sun

PAYERS-PROVIDERS

Poor provider communication led to 2,000 patient deaths and $1.7 billion in malpractice costs. – STAT

Your depressing over-the-weekend Zika virus update:

  • Zika could be declared an international emergency today. – BBC
  • A vaccine for Zika is years away. – The New York Times
  • Did global health agencies fumble the Zika response? – Reuters

A big endorsement of more patient-centered care (no matter the price). A new approach to treating early schizophrenia that includes family counseling and  includes the patients as equals in decisions about care (including drug dosage) gets support in new research released today. – The New York Times

Shame on Bill Maher. – Science-Based Medicine

TECHNOLOGY

Remember, Alphabet – aka. Google – unveils its numbers today. That includes a heckuva lot of healthcare-related initiatives. – Re/Code

POLITICS

Here are some more presidential primary healthcare headlines (if you can stand it):

  • It’s really looking like our long, national healthcare presidential candidate nightmare is over. So I call this, “A Eulogy for Dr. Ben Carson.” – American Prospect
  • Trump unveils his healthcare plan: “If somebody has no money and they’re lying in the middle of the street and they’re dying, I’m going to take care of that person.” Well there you go. The Roadkill Plan. – The Hill
  • Why Donald Trump’s proposal to allow the federal Medicare program to negotiate prices with drug companies is not the same-old plan everyone has heard before. – The Health Care Blog

A LITTLE BIT EXTRA

I’m always going to prefer my steak from a cow. But here are some startups that want to build “laboratory-developed hamburgers and sausages that taste just as good as the kind from cattle and pigs.” – The Wall Street Journal

Photo: Getty Images

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