Millennials Seen As Antidote To Health Law Woes, But They’re Not Interested In Being Its Saviors
The Obama administration is actively targeting young adults who have not enrolled in the exchanges in the numbers needed to balance out the costlier older population. Meanwhile, the president talks about his signature law's "real problems," but says they're fixable with help from Congress.
Obamacare’s Millennial Problem
The 18- to 34-year-olds who helped elect Barack Obama could consign his signature domestic policy achievement to failure. That’s because not enough millennials have signed up for Obamacare to make it work well. Despite repeated outreach — including entreaties from all manner of celebrities, including NBA stars and Obama himself — young people make up less than 30 percent of Obamacare customers. The White House had set a goal of 40 percent in that age bracket to sustain a healthy marketplace because millennials tend to be healthier and, therefore, balance the costs of sicker, older customers. (Pradhan and Demko, 10/4)
Obama: Affordable Care Act Has ‘Real Problems’
President Obama says his signature domestic policy, the Affordable Care Act, needs some fixes. “In my mind the [Affordable Care Act] has been a huge success, but it’s got real problems,” Obama said in an interview with New York Magazine published Sunday. ... In the interview, Obama suggested ways the marketplace could be improved: “They’re eminently fixable problems in terms of strengthening the marketplace, improving the subsidies so more folks can get it, making sure everybody has Medicaid who was qualified under the original legislation, doing more on the cost containment,” he said. (McIntire, 10/3)
In other national health care news —
The Wall Street Journal:
House Committee Taps Mylan For More Information On EpiPen Price Figures
A U.S. House committee sent a letter to Mylan NV demanding a fuller explanation of why the company omitted key information that it used to calculate the profit figure for the lifesaving EpiPen drug that its chief executive provided during a congressional hearing last month. ... House committee leaders, in a letter to Ms. Bresch dated Sept. 30 and released Monday, said her testimony “omitted key tax assumptions that affect the company’s profit per pack.” They said the omission ”raises questions.” (Loftus, 10/3)
Medicare Encourages People To Try Dialysis At Home
About half a million Americans need dialysis, which cleans toxins from the body when the kidneys can't anymore. It can cost more than $50,000 a year, and takes hours each week at a dialysis center. To meet the need, roughly 7,000 kidney dialysis centers have opened across the country. Patients go several times a week and spend half a day undergoing the life-sustaining procedure. Medicare is now taking steps to make it easier for people to do their own dialysis at home. (Whitney, 10/4)
The Associated Press:
Could Drug Checking Have Prevented Prince's Overdose Death?
As the investigation into Prince's death homes in on the source of the fatal fentanyl, some observers are suggesting that the United States explore a lifesaving strategy used in Europe: services that check addicts' drug supplies to see if they are safe. In Spain, the Netherlands and a handful of other countries, users voluntarily turn in drug samples for chemical analysis and are alerted if dangerous additives are found. The pragmatic approach saves lives, proponents say. (Johnson, 10/4)