ACHP Media Monitoring Report: March 28, 2017

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ACHP in The News:  Health plans need clarity to make business decisions for 2018 – ACHP President and CEO Ceci Connolly discusses in Fierce Healthcare.

Key House Republican believes ACA tax changes must begin in Senate
House Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady (R-TX) expects the Senate to lead any efforts to repeal ACA-related taxes. Brady asserted the upper chamber is better situated to address the issue because Senate rules would shape legislation to repeal taxes associated with the health law, according to Kat Lucero of The Hill Extra (subscriber’s content).

Future of Medicaid
Medicaid played a role in the defeat of the Republican health care bill, as many lawmakers worried about the loss of coverage for their constituents. Kate Zernike, Abby Goodnough and Pam Belluck at The New York Times share that the recent health care debate demonstrates how difficult change to entitlement programs can be and how extensive Medicaid’s reach has become. Still, rules for Medicaid are likely to be rewritten by the Trump administration.

States resume exploration of Medicaid expansion
North Carolina and Kansas are taking steps to expand Medicaid following the defeat of the Republican health care plan. Both states had planned to expand Medicaid but put those plans on hold following the Presidential election, writes Bruce Jaspen of Forbes. Georgia, Idaho, Nebraska and South Dakota are also considering expansion.

Lawsuit over ACA subsidies could lead to financial losses for insurers
Congressional Republicans must decide how to resolve a House lawsuit claiming insurers have been illegally paid subsidies under the ACA. If the Trump administration chooses to end the current appeal, cost-sharing reduction subsidies will end, potentially leaving health insurers with billions of dollars in losses. The financial hit could cause some insurers to leave the market. Caitlin Owens at Axios reports.

Christie to lead opioid abuse commission
President Trump is expected to ask New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to head a commission to combat the opioid epidemic. Christie has been collaborating with Trump senior policy advisor Jared Kushner on the project to curb opioid abuse. According to Christie, the opioid epidemic is a concern of President Trump, who has said he wants to make a difference in the area of addiction treatment and prevention. Bob Jordan at the Asbury Park Press has the story.

Critics argue right-to-try gives false hope
Right-to-try legislation, which would allow patients access to drugs outside of clinical trials and not yet approved by the FDA, is gaining momentum. Thirty-three states have passed such laws, and several federal lawmakers may try to incorporate a measure in the FDA funding bill this year. Yet, critics argue the law would offer false hope because many drugmakers are hesitant to offer medications to patients who are not a part of a clinical trial. Laurie McGinley at The Washington Post explains.

Hospital stocks go up after health bill defeat
After the vote on the Republican health care bill was canceled, shares for U.S. hospitals began to rise. Repeal of the ACA would have jeopardized hospital profits by as much as 10 percent, according to analysts. Lewis Krauskopf at Reuters has the story.