The James Group Newsletter Vol. 4, Num. 18: ACA Individual Mandate Repeal, Consumers Find Free Health Insurance, ACA Enrollment Surges By 47%, Medicare Enrollees Might Face Higher Premiums for Outpatient, Scientists Edit Genes To Cure Disease, FDA Warning



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November 21, 2017 

Volume 4, Number 18

In This Issue

ACA Individual Mandate Repeal

Some Consumers Find Free Health Insurance

ACA Enrollment Surges By 47% This Year

Medicare: Higher Premiums for Outpatient

Scientists Edit Genes Of Man’s Body to Cure A Disease

FDA Warning of ‘Natural’ Opioid

TJG On Facebook

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Politico: Obamacare Mandate Repeal May Not Deliver Predicted Blow Repealing Obamacare's individual mandate might not be the devastating blow to health insurance markets that supporters of the law fear. Because the tax penalty for not having insurance is far less costly than what many Americans would have to pay for coverage, many have chosen to take the fine. Eliminating it, therefore, might not radically change behavior — or fulfill the dire predictions of spiking premiums and vast increases in uninsured people that economists, health providers and politicians once predicted. (Haberkorn and Demko, 11/20)

Source: Politico

The Associated Press: Hard To Believe: Some Consumers Find Free Health Insurance Consumers are getting the word that taxpayer-subsidized health plans are widely available for next year for no monthly premium or little cost, and marketing companies say they're starting to see an impact on sign-ups. "Free Obamacare Coverage in 2018," says an online pitch from insurance broker eHealth, showing a young woman with a big smile. "See if you qualify." (11/20)

Source: The Associated Press

The Washington Post: ACA Federal Enrollment Surges By At Least 47 Percent This Year, CMS Says The portion of new consumers enrolling in ACA plans is slightly down this year, according to the latest federal report. Those Americans accounted for 23 percent of enrollees between Nov. 1 and Nov. 11, as opposed to 24 percent in the early days of 2016.

Source: The Washington Post

The Associated Press: Higher Premiums For Outpatient Coverage For Many On Medicare Higher monthly premiums for outpatient coverage await many Medicare beneficiaries next year, the government says. The additional expense will eat away at an increase in their Social Security checks. The news about "Part B" premiums was buried in the fine print of a notice issued late Friday afternoon by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (11/18)

Source: The Associated Press

The Washington Post: In A First, Scientists Edit Genes Inside A Man’s Body To Try To Cure A Disease. What’s Next? Scientists have attempted to cure a patient with a rare genetic disorder by rewriting the DNA inside his body, in a first-of-its-kind therapy they hope could one day be applied to numerous other conditions including hemophilia and sickle cell disease. The procedure, which took place on Monday at the University of California at San Francisco's Benioff Children's Hospital in Oakland, Calif., involved sending what the Associated Press described as “billions of copies of a corrective gene and a genetic tool to cut his DNA in a precise spot” into the patient's body. These edits are designed to enable the patient, 44-year-old Brian Madeux, to produce an enzyme that would counteract a metabolic disease he suffers from known as Hunter syndrome. (Cha, 11/16)

Source: The Washington Post

NPR: FDA Warns About Dangers Of 'Natural' Opioid Kratom The Food and Drug Administration says there's insufficient evidence the supplement works to treat addiction or other problems and cited growing evidence it can be dangerous. Kratom may cause seizures, liver damage and withdrawal symptoms. "It's very troubling to the FDA that patients believe they can use kratom to treat opioid withdrawal symptoms," FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement, adding that not only is there no reliable evidence that kratom is an effective treatment for opioid use disorder, there are FDA-approved medications that work. (Stein, 11/14)

Source: NPR


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