News bites: Health law puts inmates on Medicaid

Virtually all state prison inmates could be eligible for Medicaid coverage of hospital stays starting in 2014 under Democrats' healthcare reform law — at the expense of the federal government, Stateline reports.

The number of emergency room visits in the U.S. rose nearly 13 million in 2009 — about 10 percent — to more than 136 million visits, Kaiser Health News reports. The statistics are prompting calls for malpractice reform to reduce defensive medicine.

The Los Angeles Times delves into Republicans' strategy for repealing the healthcare reform law.

The New York Times writes about Massachusetts' efforts to rein in its healthcare costs.

UnitedHealth Group, the largest U.S. insurer by sales, reported third-quarter profit that beat analysts' estimates as money-conscious Americans put off getting medical treatment, Bloomberg reports.