Maine Medicine Weekly Update - 12/17/2018  (Plain Text Version)

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In this issue:
•  Governor-Elect Mills Nominates Jeanne Lambrew, PhD as HHS Commissioner
•  MMA Holiday Hours
•  U.S. Federal Court in Texas Strikes Down the Affordable Care Act
•  Maine on the Short End of Federal Opioid Funding
•  Important Notification to Physicians & Staff from CMS
•  PCSS Offers Free 8-hour X-waiver Course for MAT
•  Measles Cases Rise, Pockets of Vaccine Refusal Threaten Community Health
•  End-of-year CME Opportunities Available Through AMA
•  AMA Podcast on Alternative Payment Models
•  Legislative Leaders Selected; Constitutional Officers Elected
•  Upcoming Specialty Society Meetings
•  Improving Opioid Prescribing and Patient Safety - Monday, December 17 5pm Augusta
•  Enrollment Underway for Maine’s Physician Executive Leadership Institute - The Advanced Course - Deadline for Enrollment: January 30, 2019
•  Identifying Substance Use Early Saves Lives! - SBIRT with Motivational Interviewing Training - 1-day Sessions Offered on Feb 2, Mar 2, Apr 6
•  Urgent Care Physician - South Portland, ME
•  Full-time Board Certified/Board Eligible MD/DO
•  Outpatient Family Medicine - Brunswick, Maine
•  Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner - Nasson Health Care
•  Primary Care Physician – Family Practice
•  Emergency Medicine Physician Assistants or Nurse Practitioners in multiple locations – BlueWater Emergency Partners
•  Physician – Leeds
•  Psychiatric Mental Health NP - Leeds
•  Outpatient Internal Medicine Physician – Bangor, Maine
•  Internal Medicine MD or DO (BE/BC)
•  Anesthesiologist - Kennebec Anesthesia Associates PA
•  Opportunities at the VA for Volunteer Physicians
•  Volunteer Opportunity with Partners for World Health


U.S. Federal Court in Texas Strikes Down the Affordable Care Act

A federal judge in Texas has ruled that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is unconstitutional in a case brought by 20 Attorneys General from conservative states, a case joined by Maine Governor Paul LePage. An appeal to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is expected and in the meantime, the ACA is still the law of the land.


Governor-elect Janet Mills did not mince words in expressing her opinion of the decision: "This is a backward, poorly-reasoned decision," she said, "but it does not change the fact that the Affordable Care Act is still the law of the land." Senator Angus King also tweeted that the ruling, while concerning, "...WILL NOT impact ACA plans for 2019." A variety of legal experts, both liberal and conservative, have raised serious questions about the legal reasoning in the decision.

The 55-page opinion by U.S. District Court Judge Reed O'Connor stated that the elimination of the penalty for not having health insurance made the entire law invalid. Supporters of the ACA called the ruling "misguided" and said they will appeal it. Senator Susan Collins, who voted recently to repeal the individual mandate, stated Sunday that she was confident the ruling would be reversed on appeal. Any appeal would go first to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, then possibly to the U.S. Supreme Court, which in an earlier case upheld the ACA as constitutional. The Trump administration has said it will continue to enforce the law until the appeal process has run its course.