Repeal No Longer The Slam Dunk It Used To Be In The House
It was believed that the Senate would be the chamber where efforts to dismantle the law faced the most challenges, but as Republicans become more divided on how to move forward with repeal, the House might be the problem child.
The New York Times:
Repeal Of Health Law Faces Obstacles In House, Not Just In Senate
Ever since Republicans got down to the business of repealing the Affordable Care Act, the Senate has been singled out as the likely problem. Any plan that could zoom through the House would hit roadblocks among Senate Republicans, many of whom have resisted a wholesale repeal of the health law without a robust replacement plan. But after weeks of loud protests, boisterous town hall meetings and scores of quieter meetings with health care professionals, patients, caregivers and hospital managers in their districts, it is becoming increasingly likely that a consensus in the House may be just as hard to reach. (Steinhauer, 2/23)
In other national health care news —
The Associated Press:
Health Care's Future: Turning Patients Into Savers, Shoppers
The U.S. government may soon lean on someone new to help lower health care costs: you. The idea is that when your money is on the line — and not the insurance company's — you'll look for the best value and do your part to curb national health care spending. (Murphy, 2/22)
The New York Times:
Trump Vowed To Protect The Safety Net. What If His Appointees Disagree?
Two days before Election Day, Donald J. Trump traveled to Sioux City, Iowa, and proclaimed that he was the protector of federal programs aimed at helping elderly and low-income Americans. It was Hillary Clinton, he said, who was an untrustworthy steward of the working class and who would slash vital benefits. “I am going to protect and save your Social Security and your Medicare,” Mr. Trump said. “You made a deal a long time ago, a long time ago.” The pledge followed earlier promises to enact a new paid-maternity-leave benefit and not to make cuts to Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor. (Alcindor, 2/23)
Biotech's Next Alzheimer's Test May Answer '$25 Billion Question'
Moving on from biopharma’s latest setback in Alzheimer’s disease — and the four that preceded it last year — the industry is turning its attention to a tiny pill made by a small company with hopes to succeed where so many have failed. In the third quarter of this year, Axovant Sciences will release Phase 3 data that will determine whether its drug, intepirdine, can improve cognition and function in patients with mild or moderate Alzheimer’s. Axovant’s readout will follow an outright failure from Merck, disappointing results from Eli Lilly, and a vexing setback for TauRx. (Garde, 2/22)
Lawmakers Urge US Army Not To Issue Exclusive License To Sanofi For A Zika Vaccine
Nearly a dozen members of Congress are urging the US Army not to issue an exclusive license to Sanofi Pasteur to develop a vaccine for the Zika virus over concerns the product may be priced too high for many Americans, even though it was developed with taxpayer funds. “In order to ensure that the investment made by taxpayers was worthwhile, it is critical that we ensure the vaccine to prevent against the Zika virus is accessible to anyone who requires it,” the lawmakers wrote on Wednesday in a letter to Robert Speer, the Acting Secretary of the Army. (Silverman, 2/22)