‘Politics Are Really Difficult’ For Trump’s Plan On Medicare Drug Costs
Drug pricing experts say the proposal rolled out by the president Friday to tie what the government pays for Medicare drugs administered in doctors' offices to what other countries pay for the drugs faces many obstacles. Drugmakers, doctors and some members of Congress are not on board yet.
Verdict On Trump Drug Plan: A Tough Sale Ahead
The Trump administration faces a lengthy battle to make its plan to lower Medicare drug costs a reality, with resistance coming from its own party, Democrats and large segments of the health care industry. Conservatives and the drug industry say it’s tantamount to government price controls and socialized medicine. Democrats are beating up the president for not going far enough and doctors are worried their patients could lose access to critical medicines. (Karlin-Smith, 10/26)
Trump Springs Globalist Surprise With Medicare Drug-Pricing Plan
The Trump administration’s drug-pricing plan puts the U.S. on a path toward policies like those in Europe, where governments use tight cost controls. Under the new proposal unveiled at an event at the Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday, President Donald Trump and health secretary Alex Azar said that the administration would create a reference price for high-cost medicines paid for by Medicare, based on comparable prices from other countries. (Lauerman and Edney, 10/26)
And in other national health care news —
The New York Times:
Republicans Look To Safety Net Programs As Deficit Balloons
With the federal deficit growing and President Trump suddenly talking about another tax cut, the conversation in Washington has turned to the inevitable question of how — or whether — Congress will engage in any type of fiscal discipline. Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader and Kentucky Republican, got people in Washington talking — and generated some new campaign ads from Democrats — when he suggested this month that changes to Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid were needed to tame the deficit. So what does that presage should Republicans maintain control of Congress? (Steinhauer, 10/26)
Will Trump's Push For Flexibility Help Revamp Insurance Markets?
States and employers are getting a lot more leeway in the types of health insurance they can offer residents and workers, ensuring the likelihood that differences in access and affordability of coverage will continue to widen in the name of expanding consumer choice and reducing regulatory burden. But observers are divided over whether the Trump administration's moves last week to allow states to sidestep certain aspects of the Affordable Care Act through new 1332 waiver guidance and allowing employers to pay for workers' individual market premiums through health reimbursement arrangements will ultimately harm the marketplace and its enrollees. (Livingston, 10/27)
Federal Judge Skeptical Of Legal Challenge To Short-Term Plans
A federal judge in a Friday hearing appeared skeptical of a push by advocacy groups to stop the implementation of short-term insurance plans as designed by the Trump administration. U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon of the D.C. Circuit didn't seem impressed by the groups' arguments that Trump administration actions were undermining the individual insurance markets. He indicated he would not rule for several weeks on their request for a preliminary injunction to stop the plans, which only last up to 12 months and cover less than the full plans under the Affordable Care Act. (McIntire, 10/26)