We’re looking forward to a weekend not spent at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, after spending far too much time there already this week. Fortunately, we did not need to summon the help of the U.S. surgeon general, who was connecting through Atlanta en route to Mississippi and was able to attend to the need of an unlucky (lucky?) traveler who happened to suffer a medical emergency on their flight.
- The Urban Institute released their latest healthcare reform proposal that would build off the ACA, but add a public option, have more generous subsidies, and tie provider reimbursements to Medicare.
- The Kaiser Family Foundation released a new analysis that found insurers posted their best-ever years on the ACA’s marketplaces last year, spending an average of 82% of revenue on medical costs, roughly the line of profitability for insurers.
- Single-payer has grown in popularity in Democratic circles, and insurers and their largest lobby have been gearing up for the political fight that they have long anticipated. NAHU has long opposed single-payer and similar government-run insurance options and will continue to advocate against any proposal that would eliminate or threaten private insurance coverage.
- The Trump Administration passed on the re-importation of drugs from Canada as part of its “America First” pharmaceutical plan, but Vermont has taken up the mantle with its plan that must first receive federal approval.
- Could addressing launch prices be the key for reducing the costs of prescription drugs?
- After listening to the NAHU Healthcare Happy Hour, check out Politico’s Pulse Check podcast where they sit down with HHS Secretary Alex Azar as he walks through the administration’s proposal. And check out an earlier Pulse Check episode from this week that contrasts President Trump’s proposal that has won support from Pharma to President Obama’s failed proposal from 2016 that was immediately shot down by the pharmaceutical industry.
- If you thought the efforts to advance the Graham-Cassidy repeal/replace bill died last year after the failure to win over enough support, you’ve got another thing coming. Conservative groups are once again pushing for a similar bill to get another shot before this Congress wraps up. None of the three previous “no” votes have expressed even the slightest interest in this renewed effort while Republicans can only afford to lose one vote for passage in the Senate.
- The Urban Institute and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released a report this week that found that 4.5 million more Americans would be covered had Medicaid expansion holdout states expanded their programs.
- CMS’s chief actuary released a memo that predicts that the expansion of short-term plans will cost taxpayers an additional $96-168 million annually, as sicker consumers remain in subsidized marketplace plans that increase in costs, and therefore subsidies.
- This Australian man has made 1,173 blood donations since 1967, saving the lives of 2.4 million babies with a rare blood disorder.
- If you find yourself with a broken limb and unable to exercise it while it’s in a cast, research now suggests that exercising its counterpart might actually help strengthen the dormant appendage.
- In the feel-good story of the week, this double amputee who lost his feet in an attempted summit of Mount Everest 43 years ago was finally able to complete his mission.