February 8, 2019

In This Issue
Fast Facts
President Trump Pushes Drug Pricing, Cancer Cure Funding at State of the Union
Hearings Continue on Pre-Existing Condition Protections
NAHU’s Healthcare Happy Hour: Special Guest Discussion on Balance-Billing
Miss Yesterday’s "State of the Union" Webinar?
NAHU Calls on Congress to Oppose Medicare for All
State Spotlight: Kansas Governor Reintroduces Medicaid-Expansion Legislation
Senators Mike Braun and Jacky Rosen Are Coming to the HUPAC Reception—Are You?
HUPAC Roundup: State of the Union History, Guest Lists, and Members of Congress Saying Goodbye
What We’re Reading
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What We’re Reading
We’re mourning the passing of former Representative John Dingell (D-MI), who died last night at age 92. Dingell left Congress in 2015 as the longest-serving member of the House, and while NAHU and the fierce single-payer advocate didn’t often see eye-to-eye, we appreciated the fierce energy he brought to the debate, respectfully disagreeing without being disagreeable, his endlessly sharp wit and, of course, his prolific Twitter presence. NAHU sends our thoughts to his family, including his widow, Representative Debbie Dingell, who succeeded him in Congress.
  • Georgetown University’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms released a report on the effectiveness of state-based reinsurance programs in Alaska, Minnesota and Oregon as methods for improving their individual markets.
  • The Utah House passed a bill, sponsored by NAHU member and Utah Rep. Jim Dunnigan (R), to scale back the Medicaid expansion approved by voters in November while adding a trigger that would have the state automatically join the Obamacare program if the Trump Administration rejects the plan.
  • A poll from AHIP shows that 66% of Americans support the existing healthcare system over Medicare for All or any other government-run healthcare.  
  • Colorado lawmakers introduced a bill that would create a reinsurance program to help insurance companies cover high-cost claims, with the hope that premiums for everyone buying on the individual market would go down by as much as 35%.
  • Last September, Maryland asked courts to declare that the ACA constitutional and enforceable. In November, the DOJ argued that Maryland did not have standing because its rights had not been infringed upon. On February 1, Judge Hollander agreed that Maryland did not have standing, and dismissed the case without prejudice, meaning Maryland can refile if circumstances change.
  • This analysis from The Washington Post suggests that expanding Medicaid instead of Medicare may end up with better results.
  • As the question of what to do about surprise billing becomes more prominent, one possible solution, already in place in some states, is baseball-style arbitration.
  • As a follow-up to an article we were reading last week, the federal rule forcing hospitals to disclose their price listings has shown that even between nearby hospitals, there can be huge disparities in prices—including one example where a bag of saline solution cost 7x as much at a one hospital over the other.
  • The Administration’s plan for drug rebates would fundamentally change the way the pharmaceutical business functions. The proposal currently only applies to Medicare plans for seniors and managed Medicaid plans for low-income people, but it is likely that private insurers would make a similar shift.
  • U.S. District Court Judge Paul Byron rejected Oscar's request for a temporary injunction, concluding that Florida Blue's business practices did not prevent the startup insurer from competing in the Orlando market.
  • With the measles outbreak in Washington continuing to spread, this article about parents who choose not to vaccinate their children and children's ability to consent to vaccines is an interesting read.
  • According to a CNN poll, about seven in 10 people say the government is doing a bad job governing, while 43% say this government is doing the worst governing job of their lifetime.
  • While many look at President Trump's plan to eliminate HIV in the US by 2030 with some suspicion, some experts say it's possible, though President Trump will need to change the HIV policies he himself put in place.
  • At a Senate HELP Committee hearing Tuesday morning, lawmakers discussed how primary care can decrease healthcare costs.
  • Obesity may be to blame for increasing cancer rates among young people.
  • In honor of the end of football season, here is a list of seven ways NFL players, including Tom Brady, practice self-care.
  • Finally, a list of the 10 Best Self-Care Apps, from habit trackers to meditation.
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