The Weekly Insight – July 17

17th Jul 2017

This Week in Review

Last Week from Texas Insight

Healthcare Policy News

  • The Republican base wants Senate GOP leaders to continue trying to repeal Obamacare despite recent setbacks, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll.

  • Some states would likely end their Medicaid expansions earlier than 2024 if the Senate GOP’s healthcare bill becomes law, according to several sources. That dynamic could deepen concerns among several senators who are undecided about the healthcare bill because of its changes to Medicaid, the federal-state healthcare program for the poor and disabled.

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) put off plans late Saturday to vote on a bill to overhaul the nation’s health-care system this week, after Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) announced he would be at home recovering from surgery, leaving Republicans short of the votes they needed to advance the legislation.

  • Insurers have blasted a new provision in the Senate health care plan as “unworkable,” saying it would send premiums skyrocketing for those with pre-existing conditions and leave millions more people uninsured. The provision — a version of the Consumer Freedom Option pushed by Texas Senator Ted Cruz — would give insurers more flexibility in the plans they offer in the individual market. It would allow those that sell Obamacare policies to also offer plans that don’t adhere to all of the law’s rules, including those that protect people with pre-existing conditions.

  • The home state of a key undecided senator could receive hundreds of millions of dollars under an updated Senate GOP bill to replace ObamaCare. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) has withheld her support for the Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act, citing concerns over Medicaid cuts, Planned Parenthood funding and insurance affordability. But a new provision could funnel more than $1 billion to her state over the next decade to help reduce the cost of insurance premiums.

  • The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) would see its budget rise by US$1.1 billion in 2018, to $35.2 billion, under a spending proposal released on 12 July by lawmakers in the House of Representatives. The legislation explicitly rejects a plan by the administration of President Donald Trump to cut the NIH’s budget by 18% in 2018

  • As Republicans struggle to agree on a replacement for the Affordable Care Act, the Commonwealth Fund has rated the U.S. health care system as the worst among the 11 developed nations it analyzed as part of an evaluation conducted every three years. The think tank also rated the U.S. health care system as the worst-performing of the nations analyzed when the last evaluation was released in 2014.