The Daily Scan

October 11, 2018

Last Updated: 1:00 PM EST

Legislation

  • Yesterday President Trump signed S. 2553, the Know the Lowest Price Act, and S. 2554, the Patient Right to Know Drug Price Act, into law. At the signing, the President commented: "Today, Congress is building on my administration’s actions with legislation — very strong legislation — to completely end these unjust gag clauses once and for all. Our great citizens deserve to know the lowest price available at our pharmacies, and now that is what they will be getting. They’ll be able to see pricing. They’ll be able to see where they should go. And as they start leaving certain pharmacies, those pharmacies will be dropping their prices." (WhiteHouse.gov)

 

  • U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin released the following statement after the Senate voted 50-50 on her resolution to overturn the Trump administration’s expansion of junk insurance plans. Forty-nine Democrats and one Republican voted for Baldwin’s resolution, while fifty Senate Republicans voted for an expansion of junk insurance plans that can deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions and don’t have to provide essential health services like prescription drugs, emergency room visits and maternity care. “This was an opportunity for Democrats and Republicans to protect people’s access to quality, affordable health care when they need it most. “I’m pleased that I earned bipartisan support for my resolution to overturn the Trump administration’s expansion of junk insurance plans but it’s disappointing that too many Senate Republicans failed to keep their promise to protect people with pre-existing conditions from being denied coverage. “I will continue my fight to protect the guaranteed health care protections that millions of Americans depend on because the people of Wisconsin did not send me to Washington to take their health care away; they need us to work together to protect people’s health care and make it more affordable.” (Baldwin.Senate.gov)

 

Affordable Care Act

  • The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today that the average premium for second lowest cost silver plans (SLCSP) for the 2019 coverage year will drop by 1.5 percent, the first time average premiums have dropped since the implementation of the Federally- facilitated Exchange in 2014. Tennessee will see the largest reduction at 26.2 percent. “Despite predictions that our actions would increase rates and destabilize the markets, the opposite has happened. The drop in benchmark plan premiums for plan year 2019 and the increased choices for Americans seeking insurance on the exchanges is proof positive that our actions are working," said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. (CMS.gov)

Medicare

  • President Trump authored a strongly worded op-ed piece on proposed "Medicare for All" legislation, which was published yesterday in USA Today. He commented: "The Democrats' plan means that after a life of hard work and sacrifice, seniors would no longer be able to depend on the benefits they were promised. By eliminating Medicare as a program for seniors, and outlawing the ability of Americans to enroll in private and employer-based plans, the Democratic plan would inevitably lead to the massive rationing of health care. Doctors and hospitals would be put out of business. Seniors would lose access to their favorite doctors. There would be long wait lines for appointments and procedures. Previously covered care would effectively be denied. In practice, the Democratic Party’s so-called Medicare for All would really be Medicare for None. Under the Democrats' plan, today’s Medicare would be forced to die." (USAToday.com)

Research

  • Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that approximately $2.34 billion in Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program grants were awarded to cities, counties, states, and local community-based organizations in fiscal year (FY) 2018. This funding through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) supports a comprehensive system of HIV primary medical care, medication, and essential support services to more than half a million people living with HIV in the United States. “New medical advances and broader access to treatment have helped transform HIV/AIDS from a likely death sentence into a manageable chronic disease,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “The Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program is an important way to ensure that these life-saving treatments reach the Americans who need them, and the Trump Administration is committed to continuing to improve the care by Americans living with HIV/AIDS receive.” (HHS.gov)

International

  • Democratic Republic of Congo’s Ebola outbreak is expected to last several months and could spread at any time to Uganda or Rwanda, which are well prepared but have not approved use of a vaccine, the World Health Organization said on Thursday. But the most concerning area is the city of Beni in Congo’s North Kivu province, where dozens of people who may have been exposed to the deadly disease are hiding from healthworkers, according to emergency response chief Peter Salama. “We anticipate that now we’ll be looking at least at another 3-4 months in order to really stem this outbreak, with a strong focus in Beni and surrounding areas,” Salama said. “I’d say that’s the best case scenario.” The outbreak has now caused 194 cases and 122 deaths, and two-thirds of cases in the past month have been in and around Beni. (Reuters.com)

 

 

 

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