ACHP Media Monitoring Report: January 9, 2017

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ACHP in the News:  In a conversation with NBC News, ACHP President and CEO Ceci Connolly discusses the effects uncertainty could have on the health care market and on consumers.

ACHP President and CEO Ceci Connolly explains the marketplace could collapse if consumer subsidies are phased out too quickly in a Politico piece exploring potential effects of repealing Affordable Care Act. Connolly emphasizes health plans’ commitment to providing quality service and unchanged coverage in 2017.

Presidential Transition Brief
Until inauguration on January 20, ACHP will provide updates on the presidential transition.

– Confirmation hearings for Donald Trump’s nominees for Cabinet positions begin this week. Politico has created an annotated schedule of the hearings.

Member highlight: E-records help customize treatment for patients
Health care providers’ increasing use of electronic record keeping could enable physicians to create customized treatments. Richard Harris of NPR explains health care systems are exploring using data from past cases to guide future treatment. While few providers have fully implemented such a system, member plans like Kaiser Permanente and Geisinger Health Plan are leading innovative uses for electronic medical records.

ACA cut uninsured rate for Americans with preexisting conditions
A Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) marketplace analysis finds the Affordable Care Act (ACA) cut the uninsured rate among Americans with preexisting conditions by almost 25 percent. The report notes around 50 percent of non-elderly Americans have a pre-existing health condition that would have precluded health coverage before the ACA was passed. The HHS department has released an overview of the report.

GOP lawmakers question plan to repeal ACA without replacement
Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Bob Corker (R-TN) and other prominent Republicans are questioning plans to pass the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without a replacement. To address the concerns, GOP leaders may release a partial framework for a replacement plan, writes Burgess Everett of Politico.

Paul has also said on Twitter President-elect Donald Trump would prefer Congress replace the ACA at the same time the law is repealed. Senior Trump aide Kellyanne Conway refuses to commit to a passing a replacement and repeal bill at the same time, notes Mallory Shellbourne of The Hill.

Only one in four approve plan to repeal ACA without replacement
Roughly 75 percent of Americans disapprove of Republicans’ plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without a replacement plan, including 40 percent of Republicans, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll. Almost half of all voters are in favor of retaining the ACA as it currently functions or expanding the scope of the law. Jordan Rau of Kaiser Health News breaks down the results.

Democrats call for investigation into Tom Price’s stock trading
Senate Democrats are asking the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate Rep. Tom Price’s trading of health-related companies’ stocks while serving in Congress. Price, who is Donald Trump’s nominee for Health and Human Services Secretary, has been a sponsor and advocate for a number of health bills that could influence share prices. Siobhan Hughes of The Wall Street Journal reports.

Incoming Chief of Staff claims Trump doesn’t want Medicare cuts
President-elect Donald Trump has no desire to “meddle with Medicare or Social Security,” according to Reince Priebus, Trump’s incoming Chief of Staff. Priebus made the comments to John Dickerson on the morning show Face the Nation. Trump promised during his campaign he would not cut entitlement spending, a position at odds with the rest of his party. Emily Schultheis of CBS News has the story.

Blog Review

Our weekly Blog Review features insightful posts from around the web and keeps an eye on medical industry and health news via the Trend Watch. This week we review posts exploring the future of the Affordable Care Act. This week’s Trend Watch compiles posts about Medicare.

The Future of the ACA

Considering the Implications of Repeal and Transition
National Coalition on Health Care
National Coalition on Health Care Policy Director Larry McNeely explores the budgetary limits Republicans will face in efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). McNeely cites previous GOP plans and Congressional Budget Office scoring to demonstrate any ACA replacement will likely have considerably less funding or require additional revenue streams in order to sustain current health care coverage levels.

Repealing the ACA without a Replacement — The Risks to American Health Care
New England Journal of Medicine
In a paper for the New England Journal of Medicine, President Barack Obama asserts Republican plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act without a replacement is a “reckless” decision. In defense of his signature law, Obama highlights many effects of the bill, including record-high insurance coverage and slower growth in health care costs over the past 8 years.

Trend Watch

Medicare

Republicans Must Keep Their Promise on Medicare Funding
The Hill
Former George W. Bush advisor Darren Bearson calls on Republicans to pass legislation restoring funds to Medicare once they repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Bearson explains the ACA was partially funded by a cut to Medicare payments; however, repealing the law will not automatically restore those funds. Congress must pass legislation to return Medicare funding to pre-ACA levels, a step Bearson believes Republicans must take.

Questions on Medicare for Dr. Tom Price, Our Next Health Secretary
Forbes
National Center for Policy Analysis Senior Fellow John Graham defends premium support programs championed by Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), President-elect Trump’s nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services. Graham argues Price’s plan draws on existing strategies implemented by Medicare Advantage, a plan Graham argues is more effective and cost-efficient than traditional Medicare.