The Weekly Insight: December 4
Texas Insight Reports: November 27 – December 1
- HHSC: Executive Council:
The HHSC executive council met today to deliberate on, and take public testimony on several rules.
- HHSC: Mental Health Condition and Substance Use Disorder Parity Workgroup:
The workgroup gathered for their first meeting, addressing background information and administrative issues of committee operation.
- HHSC: Perinatal Advisory Council:
The council gathered to receive information on programs and discuss best practices for treatment of women and their infants.
- Deaths of Despair in Texas: Labor Market Indications:
This posting is the third in the TI Deaths of Despair series. The series explores whether and to what extent deaths of despair, caused by behaviors such as heavy drinking, drug use and suicide, are affecting Texas. These deaths have been observed on a national level in studies by Deaton-Case who… link the behaviors resulting in Deaths of Despair to cumulative disadvantages experienced in the labor market by those demonstrating flattening or increasing mortality rates – namely White Non-Hispanic middle-aged persons without college degrees. This posting will examine the Texas labor market for these cumulative disadvantages, which may include flat or negative growth in mid-level wage jobs for those with no college degree, growth in low-wage jobs that may be temporary or “irregular”, and declines in labor force participation.
- (Blog): In Health IT, When Inertia is Your Enemy, ROI is Your Friend: AI and analytics is all the rage at the moment. But the truth is, at least in healthcare, there is a lot more talk than there is action… What is the big barrier to the adoption of technology solutions that are pervasive in other industries…? What is it about the healthcare world that makes adoption of analytics such a challenge when the average retailer has been using them for years?
- (Blog) Taxation Without Hesitation, CBO Scoops the Senate Tax Bill: The CBO has released its analysis of the Senate Tax Bill. According to the Congressional Budget Office, The Reconciliation Recommendations of the Senate Committee on Finance, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, would amend numerous provisions of U.S. tax law. Among other changes, the bill would reduce most income tax rates for individuals and modify the tax brackets for those taxpayers; increase the standard deduction and the child tax credit; and repeal deductions for personal exemptions, certain itemized deductions, and the alternative minimum tax (AMT).
Federal Healthcare News
- CVS to Buy Aetna for $69 Billion in a Deal that May Reshape the Health Industry: CVS Health said on Sunday that it had agreed to buy Aetna for about $69 billion in a deal that would combine the drugstore giant with one of the biggest health insurers in the United States and has the potential to reshape the American healthcare industry.
- Health Nominee Grilled on Commitment to Lower Drug Prices: Alex M. Azar II, President Trump’s nominee for secretary of health and human services, said Wednesday that he would try to reduce the burden of high drug costs, but he largely absolved drug companies from blame, placing the responsibility on a system that encourages price increases on medicines.
- To Cut Drug Prices, Academy of Sciences Tells the Government to Negotiate with Manufacturers: The National Academy of Sciences called Thursday for sweeping changes in the pricing, sale and promotion of prescription drugs to make lifesaving treatments more affordable without discouraging the development of new medicines.
- Millions Pay the Obamacare Penalty Instead of Buying Insurance. Who Are They? – The Senate Republican tax bill includes the repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, the requirement that all Americans purchase qualifying health insurance or pay a penalty. The move could deal a serious blow to the health law.
- Key Lawmaker Seeks Flexibility for State on CHIP: The chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee is working to lift a restriction on how much money states can get to keep their Children’s Health Insurance Programs (CHIP) running, as Congress works to reauthorize the program that lapsed Sept. 30.
- Trump: ‘We’re going to go into welfare reform’: During a speech in St. Charles, Mo., on Nov. 29, President Trump said he intends to “go into welfare reform” after overhauling the tax code and the health-care system.