Latest Morning Briefing Stories
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The lawmakers say the pending language in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada agreement “would hinder Congress from taking action to increase competition and enhance patient access to more affordable medicines.”
Judge Patty Schwartz, writing for the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, said the Affordable Care Act plainly states that women must be provided preventive health services. The Trump administration’s rules that would allow employers to deny workers insurance coverage for birth control due to religious or moral objections sparked an immediate court challenge when rolled out in November.
Republican lawmakers are taking a new look at the options to replace the health law in case the court challenge working its way toward the Supreme Court is successful. The party has long struggled to craft replacement legislation, and had in previous months abandoned efforts to do so.
Former Vice President Joe Biden rolled out his health plan Monday morning following a weekend of trading jabs over “Medicare for All” with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Biden’s plan would include the creation of a public option as well as the elimination of the existing cap on health care tax credits to make coverage more affordable. The proposal solidifies Biden’s stance as one the health law’s biggest defenders in a race where health care has become a dividing topic between the candidates.
Opinion writers weigh in on these health care issues and others.
Media outlets report on news from Missouri, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, Florida, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, California, Virginia, Colorado, New Hampshire, Texas, Michigan, Mississippi and Nebraska.
The Health Subcommittee sent the bill, which includes an additional $12 billion over four years for Puerto Rico, to the full House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Lawmakers said that there was no time to address the recent corruption scandal over a government employee allegedly stealing Medicaid dollars in the current bill, but that members will work to add oversight to the funding.
President Donald Trump’s drug pricing strategy received its second major blow this week on the announcement that the proposal to eliminate drug rebates in Medicare and Medicaid plans will be withdrawn. In January, HHS Secretary Alex Azar said that the proposal had “the potential to be the most significant change in how Americans’ drugs are priced at the pharmacy counter, ever.” But the changes met significant pushback from insurers and hospitals who worried the proposal wouldn’t force drugmakers to lower prices and would likely see higher profit margins from it. Looking forward, Trump will be left considering ideas that are more popular with progressives than his party.
Two decades ago Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) took a similar trip with Americans on the hunt for lower drug prices. The trip is scheduled to leave from Detroit two days before the next Democratic presidential primary debates which will be held in that the city on July 30 and 31.
2020 hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said she would spend $1 billion to encourage states to clear rape kit backlogs and invest in reforms, including requiring rape kits to be tested within narrow time frames, counting and reporting untested kits, and giving victims information about the status of their testing. The issue received national attention in recent years after it came to light how many states and counties have crushing backlogs of kits.
Opinion writers weigh in on these health issues and others.
Media outlets report on news from New York, California, Maryland, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, Iowa, Oregon, Illinois, Virginia, Wisconsin and Florida.
The three-year program, dubbed the Connected Care Pilot, would support a limited number of projects, focusing on pilots that help providers “defray” the broadband costs of bringing telemedicine to low-income Americans and veterans.
A pricey treatment offered hope to a family with a daughter with a rare defective gene that causes spinal muscular atrophy. The therapy must be administered before the age of 2, but the family is locked in a fight with its insurance company over coverage. In other pharmaceutical news: the use of PrEP in the fight against AIDS, Massachusetts’ governor’s drug plan, clinical trial data, and more.
The wide-ranging executive order includes proposals to increase accessibility for at-home treatments, encourage kidney donations to address shortages, launch a public awareness campaign, develop artificial kidneys and more. President Donald Trump touted the plan as a “a first, second and third step” toward improving kidney care for Americans.
Opinion writers weigh in on these health care topics and others.
California already covers low-income children regardless of immigration status, but now has become the first state in the country do go further to young adults. Meanwhile, the Democratic debate thrust the issue into the national spotlight after the candidates showed support for expanding health care coverage for everyone in the country. Meanwhile, border arrests are finally dropping, but still remain high.
Republican Governor Chris Sununu’s announcement came on the same day that lawyers in a federal case that could overturn the Affordable Care Act hold oral arguments.
Major health care players have a large interest in the outcome of any legislation on surprise medical bills, and they’re making their voices heard to lawmakers. The rumbles are creating fault lines for senators, who are all largely in favor of acting in some way to address the issue.