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Congress prioritizes funding bill, still negotiating on health care
While Congress shifts its focus to avoiding a government shutdown this week, health care reform may take a back seat. Support from moderate Republicans is still needed to pass a GOP health care bill. The amendment from Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) would give states the option to remove some insurance requirements established under the ACA. Moderates have yet to publically support this version of the bill.
In an effort to force Democrats to negotiate on health care, the Trump Administration has considered eliminating cost-sharing subsidies. A study by the Kaiser Family Foundation released today finds that eliminating CSR funding may end up costing the government billions of dollars. The analysis estimates that taxpayers would pay about 23 percent more than the possible savings from eliminating the subsidies.
Most Americans want to repair, not replace, ACA
An ABC/Washington Post poll finds more than 60 percent of Americans want Congress to fix the ACA, not repeal and replace it. Additionally, 80 percent of Americans believe President Trump should try to make the ACA work instead of letting it fail. The poll showed a divide among party lines, with 21 percent of Republicans wanting the government to fix the ACA compared to nearly 90 percent of Democrats.
Addiction experts alarmed by Surgeon General’s departure
Some addiction experts worry U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy’s departure could impede efforts to address the opioid epidemic. As Surgeon General, Murthy pushed for aggressive tactics to curb opioid prescribing. Experts are worried Murthy’s departure may leave the Trump administration without a strong advocate for addressing the crisis.
Hospitals want bundled-payment program to become voluntary
Hospitals are asking CMS to make bundled-payment initiatives for cardiac and orthopedic care voluntary programs. Some health systems are saying that they do not have the resources to incur the added risk or invest in the technology the models require; others worry voluntary programs could lead to hospitals transferring complex cases to providers outside of the model and skirting the system.