Vol. 5, Num. 9: Drugmakers costing US $$, 'Right to Try' Bill Approved, Restrictions on Abortion Funding, Gene Therapies, $7M to Fight Ebola Outbreak, VT Passes Drug Import Law, Fix VA Med Records, FDA Approves Migraine Medicine
May 25, 2018
Volume 5, Number 9
In This Issue
Drug Makers Costing US Billions
Congress Approves ‘Right to Try’ Bill
Plan to Restrict Abortion Funding
Gene Therapies Get Easier FDA Path
$7 Million Contribution To Fight Ebola Outbreak
VT Passes A Drug Importation Law
Gov’t Approves Deal To Fix VA Medical Records
FDA Approves Migraine Medicine
US Uninsured Rate Holds Steady
Insurers Profitable By Raising Premiums
Trump Admin Can Reclaim Unspent Money
The James Group, LLC
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Kaiser Health News: Drug makers Blamed For Blocking Generics Have Milked Prices And Cost U.S. Billions
The New York Times: Congress Approves Bill Giving Patients A ‘Right To Try’ Experimental Drugs
Source: The NY Times
The Wall Street Journal: Trump Administration To Advance Plan To Restrict Funding For Abortion Providers
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Bloomberg: Gene Therapies That Could Transform Diseases Get Easier FDA Path
The Hill: US To Contribute Up To $7 Million To Fight Ebola Outbreak
Source: The Hill
Kaiser Health News: Vermont Legislators Pass A Drug Importation Law. So What?
Source: Kaiser Health News
The Associated Press: Gov't Approves $10B Deal To Overhaul VA Medical Records
Source: The Associated Press
The Wall Street Journal: FDA Approves Migraine Medicine
Source: The Wall Street Journal
The New York Times: US Uninsured Rate Holds Steady, CDC Survey Shows
Margot Sanger-Katz writes for the New York Times (5/22, Subscription Publication) “TheUpshot” blog that despite the Trump Administration’s attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, a survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the uninsured rate “remained flat at 9.1 percent in the first year of the Trump presidency.” Sanger-Katz says, “The numbers suggest a surprising resilience of the health law, and its expansion of insurance coverage, even in the face of efforts that the law’s defenders call ‘sabotage.’” Overall, the figures over the years show the ACA has “substantially reduced the number of Americans without insurance” by around 19.3 million people between 2010 and 2017.
Source: NY Times
Bloomberg News: Insurers That Sell ACA Plans Became Profitable By Raising Premiums Significantly, Analysis Reveals
Bloomberg News (5/17, Tracer) reports that following “years of losses, the U.S. health insurance industry figured out how make money from Obamacare last year,” a new analysis conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation revealed. Insurers did so by raising premiums. Data show that on average, the cost of “plans sold in the individual market climbed about 22 percent in 2017, as insurers boosted premiums well above what they spent on medical care.”
Politico: GAO Confirms Trump Administration Can Reclaim Unspent Money, Including $7 Billion In CHIP Funding
Politico (5/22, Ferris) reports that on Tuesday, the Government Accountability Office “delivered a victory to the Trump administration by greenlighting a proposal to claw back more than $7 billion in unused cash from the Children’s Health Insurance Program.” The article says the GAO approved most “of the administration’s $15.3 billion plan to cancel spending.” In light of this, “the White House’s plan for so-called rescissions will likely retain its filibuster-proof powers in the GOP-controlled Senate, easing the way for potential passage with a simple majority vote.”
IRS Updates Decision On 2018 HSA Limits
The 2018 HSA family contribution limit is back to $6900. On April 26th, the IRS updated its decision to decrease the 2018 maximum contribution limit for family coverage only. The maximum annual contribution limit for family coverage limit is now back to $6,900. Earlier this year, the IRS had adjusted the maximum contribution limit for family coverage from $6,900 to $6,850. Yesterday the IRS updated its decision. To view the official IRS announcement, please visit the Internal Revenue Service press release.
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