The Weekly Insight: September 5

05th Sep 2017

Texas Insight Coverage: August 28 – September 1


Week in Review: Federal Healthcare News
  • Federal Judge Blocks Texas from Enforcing New Abortion Restrictions: A federal judge in Texas on Thursday blocked the state from implementing new restrictions that would have banned a second-trimester abortion procedure.
  • Trump Administration Sharply Cuts Spending on Health Law Enrollment: WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is slashing spending on advertising and promotion for enrollment under the Affordable Care Act, a move some critics charged was a blatant attempt to sabotage the law. Officials with the Department of Health and Human Services, who insisted on not being identified during a conference call with reporters, said on Thursday that the advertising budget for the open enrollment period that starts in November would be cut to $10 million, compared with $100 million spent by the Obama administration last year, a drop of 90 percent.
  • FDA Cracks Down on Stem-Cell Clinics, Including one Using Smallpox Vaccine in Cancer Patients: The Food and Drug Administration on Monday announced a crackdown on stem-cell clinics offering on “unapproved and potentially dangerous” treatments, including an outfit in California that has been using the smallpox vaccine on seriously ill cancer patients. U.S. marshals on Friday raided San Diego-based StemImmune Inc. and seized the vaccine, which the FDA said had been combined with stem cells derived from fat to create an unapproved product. The concoction was injected intravenously and directly into patients’ tumors at the California Stem Cell Treatment Centers in Rancho Mirage and Beverly Hills, the agency said.
  • No Action on Opioid Emergency Three Weeks After Trump Declaration: President Trump on Aug. 10 said the nation’s opioid epidemic was officially a national emergency. More than three weeks later, Trump is dealing with a natural disaster. Hurricane Harvey has displaced tens of thousands, leading Trump to declare federal emergencies in Texas and Louisiana. The decisions have freed up funding to help people who have lost their homes to rising waters. In contrast, nothing has happened yet since Trump’s declaration on opioids. No paperwork has been issued formally declaring an emergency, and no new policies have been announced.
  • Senate Health Committee schedules two more ObamaCare hearings: The Senate Health Committee has scheduled two more hearings to help in crafting a bipartisan healthcare bill. The committee will hear from health policy experts Sept. 12 and from stakeholders Sept. 14. That’s in addition to two hearings previously scheduled for next week.