Short-Term Insurance Plans Will Siphon Off Healthier Patients And Split Marketplace, Opponents Warn
Insurer lobbying group AHIP spoke out against the Trump administration's proposal to allow people to buy short-term health insurance for up to 12 months. But supporters of the plans say fears are overblown and argue that the expanded options are needed for people who are uninsured. Meanwhile, is health care really the "No. 1 issue in America?" The Washington Post fact checks that claim.
The Washington Post:
Trump Proposal Could Mean Healthy People Save On Insurance While Others Get Priced Out
The Trump administration’s proposal to build up short-term health insurance plans as a "lifeline" for people who can’t afford Affordable Care Act coverage could split the insurance market in two, siphoning young, healthy people into cheaper, more minimal plans — while those who remain in ACA plans face premiums that spiral upward even faster. The comment period ends Monday on a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposal to extend short-term plans to 364 days, from the current three-month limit. (Johnson, 4/23)
Insurer Group Issues Warning On Trump Administration's Short-Term Health Plan Proposal
The nation's largest trade group for health insurance companies is sounding the alarm on a proposal from the Trump administration that would expand the sale of plans that cover fewer services. America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) says the proposal could lead to more people being uninsured or underinsured and result in higher health-care costs in the long run. (Hellmann, 4/23)
The Washington Post Fact Checker:
Is Health Care The ‘Number One Issue In America’?
Politicians are often eager to cite polling as a reason for action. In an article that highlighted a proposal by [Sen. Chris] Murphy and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) to allow individuals and large employers to purchase health insurance coverage through Medicare, Murphy described health care as the “number one issue” in America. Does polling back up that assertion? (Kessler, 4/24)
In other national health care news —
The New York Times:
Trump Administration Pushes Abstinence In Teen Pregnancy Programs
The Trump administration has issued new rules for funding programs to prevent teenage pregnancy, favoring those that promote abstinence and not requiring as rigorous evidence of effectiveness. While the funding announcement, issued Friday by the Department of Health and Human Services, does not exclude programs that provide information about contraception and protected sex, it explicitly encouraged programs that emphasize abstinence or “sexual risk avoidance.” (Belluck, 4/23)
The Associated Press:
CDC Chief Makes $375K, Far Exceeding His Predecessors’ Pay
The new head of the nation’s top public health agency is getting paid nearly twice what his predecessor made and far more than other past directors, government officials confirmed. Dr. Robert Redfield Jr., 66, has long career as a top HIV researcher, but he had no experience working in public health or managing a public health agency. The U.S. government is paying him $375,000 a year to run the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.That’s nearly twice the annual compensation given to Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, who had the job for six months before resigning in January. Her annual pay rate was $197,300. (Stobbe, 4/23)
The New York Times:
‘Whole Again’: A Vet Maimed By An I.E.D. Receives A Transplanted Penis
In a 14-hour operation, a young military veteran whose genitals were blown off by a bomb received an extraordinary transplant: a penis, scrotum and portion of the abdominal wall, taken from a deceased organ donor. The surgery, performed last month at Johns Hopkins Hospital, was the most complex and extensive penis transplant to date, and the first performed on a combat veteran maimed by a blast. (Grady, 4/23)
Weight Loss Drugs Were Commercial Flops. Can They Be Used For Addiction?
If dependence on cocaine or cigarettes is the result of addiction, is obesity in essence an addiction to food? Some scientists certain think so, which is why several weight loss drugs are being studied as potential addiction therapies. There are plenty to choose from: A wave of prescription weight loss drugs hit the market in recent years, and they were initially expected to perform well. But medications including Qsymia, Belviq, and Contrave have all flailed on the market — doctors and patients alike have been reticent to take them. (Keshavan, 4/24)