ACHP Media Monitoring Report: March 22, 2017

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Trump pressures GOP skeptics to support ACA alternative
President Trump is warning conservative lawmakers they will face electoral repercussions if they do not support the Republican replacement for the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Trump asserted he would help defeat any Republican lawmaker who voted against the legislation, writes Julie Hirschfeld Davis, Thomas Kaplan and Robert Pear of The New York Times. Members of the conservative Freedom Caucus in the House have indicated they may vote against the legislation because it is not conservative enough.

Medicaid work requirements unlikely to affect spending
The proposed amendment to the Republican health care bill would allow states to impose work requirements for Medicaid. Policy analysts say work requirements will likely have little effect on Medicaid spending. Many Medicaid beneficiaries that do not work have health conditions that may not legally qualify as disabilities but that still make full-time employment difficult. Alison Kodjak of NPR has the story.

Price seeks to change essential health benefits
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price has said easing essential health benefit requirements in the Affordable Care Act may be one of his first actions. David Nather at Axios reports HHS cannot rewrite the requirements autonomously; Congress would need to alter the 10 categories of benefits. Health policy analyst Chris Jacobs discusses actions Price could take, including allowing states more power in determining qualifications for essential benefits and changing standards that control what portion of expenses are covered.

GOP bill may harm care for poor
Cities are developing new models to better care for low-income individuals, tackling challenges like housing and poor diet that effect health. Provisions in the Republican health care bill may threaten the systems cities have put in place by reducing the number of individuals eligible for Medicaid and cutting federal funding. Noam Levey at the Los Angeles Times reports health advocates are concerned coverage will be stripped just as evidence is mounting that these new systems are positively effecting communities.

No evidence ACA has affected recruiting or retention of doctors
President Trump claims the ACA has hurt the recruitment and retention of doctors. Evidence suggests implementing the ACA has had no effect, reports The Associated Press. More medical students are graduating today than when the ACA was passed, and physician trade groups have seen their membership rolls grow over the past seven years.