Overnight Health Care: Critics see Trump sabotage on ObamaCare | Puerto Rico faces looming Medicaid crisis | California governor signs drug pricing transparency measure


The Trump administration is taking a hatchet to ObamaCare after failing to pass legislation through Congress repealing President Obama’s signature law.

The administration has cut funding for advertising and outreach by 90 percent, raising the odds that fewer people will join the health-care exchanges during the fall enrollment period.

It has slashed funds by 41 percent for outside groups that help reach and enroll likely ObamaCare consumers.

“One has to assume at this point that enrollment will be lower as a result of the administration’s actions and that will lead to fewer healthier people signing up,” said Larry Levitt, a health policy expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Andy Slavitt, a former top health-care official in the Obama administration, warned on Twitter Thursday that the administration’s “sabotage” of the law added up to what he called “synthetic repeal.”

Read more here.

 

Puerto Rico faces looming Medicaid crisis

Puerto Rico is facing an imminent Medicaid funding crisis, putting nearly one million people at risk of losing their health-care coverage.

Even before Hurricane Maria caused major damage to the island’s struggling health-care system, the U.S. territory’s Medicaid program barely had enough money left to last through the next year.

Now, if Puerto Rico’s federal Medicaid funding runs out, up to 900,000 people would likely be cut from Medicaid — more than half of total enrollment, according to federal estimates.

Hurricane Maria made things substantially worse.

Read more here.

 

Trump to sign order rolling back health insurance regulations: report

President Trump will sign an executive order next week aimed at rolling back health insurance regulations put in place by former President Obama in an effort to undo his predecessor’s signature health-care law, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The order will direct the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor, and Treasury to make it easier for individuals to group together and purchase insurance through “association health plans,” according to the report.

The president also directs the agencies in the order to roll back the Obama administration regulations of “short-term medical insurance,” which is a cheap limited-protection option that the former administration claimed did not provide adequate coverage for individuals.

Read more here.

 

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) on Monday signed a bill aimed at increasing transparency in prescription drug pricing.

The new law requires drug manufacturers to notify insurers before they raise the price of a prescription drug by more than 16 percent over a two-year period. Drug companies would also have to explain why the price is increasing.

“This is, I believe, the first measure of its kind nationwide, but it’s the best of its kind as well,” state Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de León (D) said. “It’s our hope that we can export these policies nationwide and that other states will follow suit and look at how sensible transparency makes sense for everyday consumers throughout the country.”

Read more here.

 

First lady Melania Trump will visit a drug treatment center in West Virginia Tuesday amid the nation’s ongoing opioid epidemic, CNN reported Monday.

Trump will reportedly visit Lily’s Place, a recovery center in Huntington, that provides medical care to infants exposed to drugs while in the womb.

It will be Trump’s first visit to such a facility during her husband’s presidency.

Read more here.

 

What we’re reading

Republicans privately admit defeat on Obamacare repeal (Politico)

Overlooked By ACA: Many People Paying Full Price For Insurance ‘Getting Slammed’ (Kaiser Health News)

Trump executive order could divide the health insurance market (Wall Street Journal)

 

State by state

How San Diego’s hepatitis A outbreak became the worst the U.S. has seen in decades (Los Angeles Times)

State seeks to reassure adult day health centers (Boston Globe)

Wisconsin Democratic candidates promise Medicaid expansion (Associated Press)

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Overnight Health Care: Critics see Trump sabotage on ObamaCare | Puerto Rico faces looming Medicaid crisis | California governor signs drug pricing transparency measure

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