The Share of Women Who Delayed or Did Not Get Care Due to Cost Is Falling
Kaiser Family Foundation
Events Calendar (All Times Local)
Obamacare Has More Support Than GOP Alternative, Poll Finds
More American voters approve of the Affordable Care Act now than they ever did under the previous administration, which enacted the law — even as support is slipping for the GOP alternative that Republicans are now shepherding through Congress. A new Morning Consult/POLITICO poll shows that 50 percent of voters strongly or somewhat approve of Obamacare, while 42 percent disapprove of the 2010 health law.
Senate Republicans face their own divisions in push for health-care overhaul
Sen. Ted Cruz, a defiant loner whose feuds with Republican Party leaders have made him a conservative favorite, suddenly felt an itch to collaborate. It was late March, just after the dramatic collapse of House Republicans’ initial attempt to pass a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s health-care system.
4 deal-breakers that could blow up a Senate Obamacare repeal bill
The Senate’s fresh attempt to dismantle Obamacare is already running into its first roadblock — the growing list of demands from GOP lawmakers eager to leave their own mark on the legislation. Just days into the chamber’s health care debate, centrists and self-styled mavericks are testing the party’s razor-thin margin for victory and setting the stage for a series of high-profile negotiations.
Sen. Hatch: ‘The public wants every dime they can be given’
Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch warned Tuesday that efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act in the Senate might be complicated because once the public “is on the dole, they’ll take every dime they can.” The comment by one of the key Senate architects of the ongoing rewrite of the massive health care law, suggests Republicans are skeptical Americans will be unwilling to give up benefits provided for under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
GOP Rep. Denham claims health care bill was ‘bipartisan’
Rep. Jeff Denham, facing ire in his California district over House Republicans’ health care vote last week, claimed on Tuesday that the bill was the product of a “bipartisan” process, despite the fact that no Democrats supported it. Asked if he had read the bill at a community meeting in this tiny agricultural town, Denham said he read it all.
Iowa Rep. Rod Blum Quits Interview Over Town Hall Questions
Iowa Rep. Rod Blum stormed out of a TV interview when pressed about why he screens those who attend his public meetings. He then held a town hall, where he was booed and jeered by constituents angry over his vote to repeal the 2010 federal health care law.
Stocks Edge Lower as Dollar Stalls; Oil Advances: Markets Wrap
European shares slipped with U.S. index futures and the dollar’s rally faltered after Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. Oil climbed following an industry report that showed American stockpiles declining for a fifth week.
Insurer Steps In to Sell Plans on Health-Law Exchange in Tennessee
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee will offer Affordable Care Act marketplace plans in the Knoxville region of Tennessee next year, filling a potential gap left when Humana Inc. announced it would pull out of all of the exchanges where it does business. The 16-county region had been at risk of having no insurer offering exchange plans in 2018, and the situation had gained attention as part of the political fight over the future of the ACA.
Trump administration backs off penalizing exchange plans for not auditing risk-adjustment program
The Trump administration won’t penalize insurers for failing to verify the number of severely ill patients they’ve enrolled through the insurance exchanges. The Affordable Care Act established a risk-adjustment program that’s aimed at preventing insurers from cherry-picking the healthiest members.
Obamacare Taxes Aren’t Necessarily Going Away, GOP Senators Say
Republican senators said it’s unclear whether their chamber will repeal all of the taxes imposed under Obamacare as they set aside the health-care bill passed by the House and prepare to write their own from scratch. “That’s hard to say right now. We just have to see,” said Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch, the Utah Republican whose panel oversees health-care and tax policy. “It’s going to be negotiated.”
Who will decide what the Senate’s health bill looks like? Follow the Medicaid-state senators.
The Senate has broken into a series of “working groups” to begin writing its own version of legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act. There’s the leadership-driven group, a group of moderates and there was talk about a more conservative group before it was mostly absorbed into the leadership group.
Early splits appear as Senate Republicans confront Medicaid choice
Republican senators hailing from states that took ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion are taking different tacks on defending the program as much of their party looks to end it. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) told reporters Tuesday that he supports rolling back the Medicaid expansion by ending the extra federal money for it, as long as there is a “soft landing.”
Medicaid Expansion Transformed a Community—Now the Bill Is Coming Due
The Republican Party’s revamp of the U.S. health-care system is heading toward a showdown over Medicaid. This region, a patch of red in a largely blue state, saw more changes than most from the 2010 Affordable Care Act’s expansion of the health-insurance program for low-income people.
Cleveland State, MetroHealth partner in effort to educate nurses
Cleveland State University will offer bachelor’s and master’s of science degrees in nursing for registered nurses through a new partnership with MetroHealth. The blended-delivery approach will include some classes taught at MetroHealth, and in-person and online coursework taught by Cleveland State professors.
Pharma, Biotech and Devices
Pharma Lobby Ousts 22 Drugmakers Amid U.S. Pricing Debate
The pharmaceutical industry’s powerful Washington trade association fell in size by almost two dozen companies after revising membership rules amid the debate over U.S. drug prices. Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, will require that members spend at least $200 million a year on research and development and that their R&D spending is at least 10 percent of global sales.
Sanofi pegs U.S. drug price rises to below healthcare inflation
French drugmaker Sanofi has pledged to peg U.S. drug price rises to below healthcare inflation in a move that limits increases for any product this year to 5.4 percent, unless there are exceptional circumstances. The price promise goes one step beyond action taken by a number of other large pharmaceutical companies that have undertaken to keep 2017 price increases below 10 percent.
Scott Gottlieb wins confirmation as FDA commissioner
Dr. Scott Gottlieb is headed back to the Food and Drug Administration. By a vote of 57 to 42, the Senate on Tuesday confirmed Gottlieb, a former FDA deputy commissioner, as the agency’s next chief.
Trump wants faster FDA action, but 1 in 3 drugs have safety issues after approval
President Trump wants the Food and Drug Administration to approve drugs faster, but researchers at the Yale School of Medicine found that nearly a third of medications that reached the market from 2001 through 2010 had major safety issues years after they became widely available to patients. Seventy-one of these 222 drugs were withdrawn, required a “black box” warning about serious side effects, or warranted a safety announcement about new risks to the public, Yale professor Dr. Joseph Ross and his colleagues reported in JAMA on Tuesday.
Senate Health Committee to hold hearing on drug prices
A Senate committee plans to hold a hearing on U.S. prescription drug prices. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, in a letter Tuesday said the panel will schedule a hearing “in the near future” on the issue.
Google offshoot Verily loses top scientist leading its mental health project
Verily Life Sciences, the high-profile Google offshoot, has lost the scientist who led its search for better ways to prevent, detect, and treat mental illness — the latest in a string of top executives who have left the company after a short tenure. Dr. Thomas Insel, former head of the National Institute of Mental Health, joined the Silicon Valley startup with fanfare in December 2015.
A Message from PhRMA:
You don’t always pay full price for doctor or hospital visits. So why is a visit to the pharmacy different? Unlike care received at an in-network hospital or physician’s office, patients with high deductibles or coinsurance pay cost sharing based on the list price of a medicine, even if their insurer receives a steep discount. Insurers should share more of the rebates they receive with patients. Get the facts at http://onphr.ma/2pdulvs.
Opinions, Editorials and Perspectives
When the Drug Industry Puts Patients First
Egregious price hikes in the drug industry in recent years have led to justified public outrage. Fueling the indignation has been a widespread sense that the public is defenseless, that little or nothing can be done to protect the vulnerable from runaway drug costs.
Why I voted for the American Health Care Act
I voted Thursday for the American Health Care Act, and given the intensity of feelings and thoughts surrounding this bill, I wanted to explain my reasoning. Despite all the hyperbole, ultimately the vote came down to one simple question: do we kill the bill and stop the debate from advancing to the Senate — or not?
Now what? Hurdles for CBO and the governors
Now that the House has acted (and left town), the Congressional Budget Office has to find a useful way to estimate what will happen with the state waivers in the health care bill — more useful than the way it has tried to predict state decisions in the past. And we need a better sense of what the governors are planning to do.
The Pre-Existing Lie
If you’ve only followed coverage of the Republican health-care bill loosely in the media, you might believe that House Republicans, after much effort, passed legislation to deny people with pre-existing conditions health insurance. The issue of pre-existing conditions has dominated the debate over the GOP health-care bill out of all proportion to the relatively modest provision in the legislation, which is being distorted — often willfully, sometimes ignorantly — into a threat to all that is good and true in America.
The ‘Republicans Are Doomed’ Gambit
Barack Obama emerged from his short-lived political retirement on Sunday to call on Members of Congress to show the “political courage” to preserve ObamaCare. But wait.
Another measles outbreak that didn’t have to happen
What can an advanced nation, with high-level medical care, say to the Somali American community of Minnesota, where an outbreak of measles, highly infectious and potentially deadly, is racing ahead because many people failed to get their children vaccinated, fearing a link to autism? This is what must be said: The fears are wrong, vaccinations save lives and this community must overcome distrust in order to overcome disease.
A Message from PhRMA:
DID YOU KNOW more than 1/3 of the list price for brand medicines is rebated back to payers and the supply chain? Yet, unlike care received at an in-network hospital or physician’s office, patients with high deductibles or coinsurance pay cost sharing based on a medicine’s list price, even if their insurer receives a steep discount. Patients share the costs of medicines, so they should share the savings. Learn more at http://onphr.ma/2pdulvs.
Postmarket Safety Events Among Novel Therapeutics Approved by the US Food and Drug Administration Between 2001 and 2010
Among 222 novel therapeutics approved by the FDA from 2001 through 2010, 32% were affected by a postmarket safety event. Biologics, psychiatric therapeutics, and accelerated and near–regulatory deadline approval were statistically significantly associated with higher rates of events, highlighting the need for continuous monitoring of the safety of novel therapeutics throughout their life cycle.