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News bites: Health law mandate under fire

Only 6 percent of the total U.S. population could be subject to penalties for not buying insurance under the health law's individual mandate provision, according to an Urban Institute analysis.

Georgetown law Professor Randy Barnett has helped drive the question of the healthcare law's constitutionality "from the fringes of academia into the mainstream of American legal debate," writes The New York Times.

An acrimonious battle between Pittsburgh's most powerful health insurer, Highmark, and its dominant healthcare provider, UPMC, is drawing national attention as a test case on the impact of consolidation in the healthcare industry, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The Supreme Court sent back a lower-court ruling on human gene patenting in the wake of its decision last week to invalidate a diagnostic test for monitoring drug dosages, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Separately, the high court declined to take up a tobacco company's appeal of a $28.3 million verdict in favor of the widow of a smoker who died of lung cancer, reports MedPage Today.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied a request by California to suspend a preliminary injunction that is currently preventing the implementation of deep cuts to the state's Medicaid program.