Longer Looks: Repeal And Replace; IUDs After Trump; And Ultrasound Politics
Each week, KHN's Shefali Luthra finds interesting reads from around the Web.
Trump’s Executive Order On Obamacare Means Everything And Does Nothing
As promised, on his first day in office, President Donald Trump took steps to undo the Affordable Care Act, former President Obama’s signature health care law. In one of his first executive orders, Trump pushed the secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other federal agencies to begin weakening the law. The meaning of the executive order is both subtle and bold; on the one hand, it does very little because it doesn’t grant the administration any powers that it didn’t already have. On the other hand, it signals to the public that change is coming and lets employees at HHS know that they’d better be part of that change. (Anna-Maria Barry Jester, 1/21)
Republican's Obamacare Replacement Plans Aren't Cheaper
Obamacare’s days are numbered. That was the message of the executive order President Donald Trump signed Friday, instructing government agencies to “minimize the unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens of the [Affordable Care Act].” When I spoke with a handful of Trump supporters after the inauguration Friday, they said they eagerly awaited Obamacare’s end. Tanya, a woman from Virginia who was rolling a walker down I Street to the inaugural parade, said she was struggling with her $6,750 deductible. “As a business person who is self-employed, it’s killing me,” she said. (Olga Khazan, 1/24)
Did IUD Insertions Spike After Trump’s Election? A Big New Data Set Says Yes.
Donald Trump’s election may have inspired a birth control boom. Intrauterine device (IUD) prescriptions and procedures increased 19 percent between October and December of this year, according to a data set compiled by analysts for the electronic health record AthenaHealth. No similar pattern was observed at the end of 2015. (Sarah Kliff, 1/25)
Women In The Biotech Boardroom? Parity Could Take Decades
There have been several efforts in the last year to increase the number of women in the life sciences — but it’ll still take 40 years to reach gender parity in the biotech boardrooms, a new report from executive search firm Liftstream says. A study of 173 biotech companies that went public between 2012 and 2015 showed that 10.9 percent of biotech company boards are women. (Meghana Keshavan, 1/24)
Cassidy-Collins, The GOP Replacement Plan That Lets Liberal States Keep Obamacare, Explained
Two Republican senators are pitching an Affordable Care Act replacement that they hope will appeal to the law’s supporters.States that like Obamacare, they argue, should get to keep it.Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) held a press conference Monday to roll out the Patient Freedom Act. They propose giving states three options: Keep Obamacare, switch to a different insurance expansion, or go forward with no coverage expansion at all. (Sarah Kliff, 1/24)
The Politics Of Ultrasound
Since the mid-1990s, opponents of abortion have deployed ultrasound in their attempts to restrict abortion access. Five states have enacted “informed consent” laws, which require doctors to show their patients ultrasound images, and in some cases to describe the images, before performing an abortion. Two of those laws have been struck down by state courts. Twenty other states require a doctor to at least offer to show a woman seeking an abortion ultrasound. (Moira Weigel, 1/24)
The FDA Wants To Regulate Edited Animal Genes As Drugs
It's 2017, and nothing means anything anymore. The latest logic-twisting development comes from the FDA, which last week released a draft rule saying it would like to treat any edited animal DNA as though it were a drug.Or, more formally, as though it were some new type of pharmaceutical. Yes, yes, the FDA knows that edited DNA isn’t the same thing as drugs. But to them, edited DNA does the same thing as drugs: It changes the way bodies work. (Nick Stockton, 1/24)