Snippets American Health Care Act (AHCA)
The AHCA is like having a baby …It’s not here yet, but it’s coming.
- ANTI-AHCA PUSH
– Eight major groups announced national events hoping to bring together patients, providers and advocates to warn the Senate against repealing the Affordable Care Act.
Participants: AARP, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, Federation of American Hospitals and March of Dimes.
Target: The groups will hold events in Colorado, Ohio, Nevada and West Virginia – all states that have expanded Medicaid and where Republican senators have expressed concerns over repealing the ACA.
Message: The American Health Care Act would jeopardize health coverage for tens of millions of Americans while making deep cuts to Medicaid.
No legislative language framework has been to avoid leaks and criticism of the bill’s provisions.
OBAMACARE Enrollees Fell By Two Million – That’s according to the latest CMS enrollment Report², which found that 10.3 million Americans were covered through the ACA’s exchanges as of mid-March. That’s down from the 12.2 million people who picked plans during the enrollment period.
Why enrollment dropped off: According to CMS, high costs and lack of affordability were the most common factors individuals cited when asked why they didn’t keep their coverage.
Industry Updates:Health care costs expected to rise by 6.5 percent in 2018. That’s a half-percentage point more than anticipated for this year, according to a report by PwC’s Health Research Institute. It would mark the fourth straight year that the cost trend has hovered between 6 and 7 percent. While that’s an improvement from previous years, when increases routinely approached double digits, it’s still well over twice the inflation rate.
What’s Driving Costs Up: PwC flags a few factors including Report³, an overall uptick in medical inflation, driven by a strong economy
– A slowdown in the movement toward high-deductible plans as employers fear antagonizing workers
– Fewer branded drugs becoming available as generics.
Conclusion: PwC says these factors could be mitigated through public pressure on drug companies to hold down price hikes and better care management by employers.
Medical Court Update: Supreme Court & Investment in Biosimilars.A June ruling gave biosimilar companies more control of the patent litigation process.
Ruling: Justices in a lower-court ruling that biosimilar companies could not give branded biologic makers the legally required 180 days’ notice of their intent to sell a copycat until after they receive FDA approval. Decision allows biosimilars to come to market six months sooner.
Impact: More companies may have an incentive to bring copycat versions of pricey biologic medicines to market.
States Continue to Wrangle On Healthcare Approach:
Florida: Gov. Rick Scott moves to give 56,000 low-income Floridians Medicaid HMO coverage. Florida health officials are asking the Trump administration to approve a $300 million program providing Medicaid managed care for about 56,000 people, mostly ages 19 and 20.
– That would replace the state’s $466 million Medically Needy program that pays the hospital bills of about
28,000 frail Floridians.
California: Budget bill offers some gives for health care. The proposed budget fails to extend Medi-Cal coverage to undocumented young adults, but it restores some previously cut services, such as adult dental and vision care, and includes up to $800 million in increased Medi-Cal provider payments.
– The budget bill adds up to $50 million for women’s health at a time when federal lawmakers are cutting off support to Planned Parenthood. But the additional funds for Medi-Cal providers appear contingent on retaining federal funds now jeopardized by efforts to repeal the ACA.
– Dilemma: how to use the $1.2 billion-plus anticipated from the new state tobacco tax. Gov. Jerry Brown proposes using the money for overall cost increases in the Medi-Cal program, not to boost provider rates or expand coverage. Legislators must decide by 6-15-17 to approve the budget, or they don’t get paid.
Texas: Governor nixes $120 million from state budget. Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday signed the $217 billion budget passed by the Legislature last month – using a line-item veto to cut funding to the state’s Legislative Budget Board, air quality programs and education.