October 20, 2017
Senators reach bipartisan agreement to shore up the Affordable Care Act
Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA), chair and ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Pensions and Labor Committee, have reached a bipartisan solution to stabilize insurance markets established under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—though it could face a rocky path to becoming law.
The new legislation would continue to fund cost-sharing payments to insurers for low-income Americans for an additional two years—payments that President Trump eliminated last week through executive order. The bill would also restore $106 million to outreach funding for awareness and enrollment assistance.
As part of Senate negotiations, the proposal would allow the payments to continue to insurers to offset the cost for low-income Americans and in return would allow states greater ability to waive insurer policy requirements to offer cheaper plans. The proposal does not change the minimum coverage requirements that an insurance plan must meet, such as essential health coverage, including preventive and early detection services, as well as coverage for pre-existing conditions.
President Trump, after initially backing the plan to restore cost-sharing payments for two years in exchange for more state flexibility, opposed the measure Wednesday.
Your October newsletter is here
- What are biosimilars? Learn about cheaper versions of pricey medications called biosimilars and how they can help cancer patients.
- New biomarker for oropharyngeal cancer: Oropharyngeal cancer is on the rise, especially among men, and it is notoriously difficult to diagnose early. Now there’s a new biomarker that has the potential to change this.
- New tobacco regulations: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed lowering the amount of nicotine in cigarettes to decrease smoking rates among children and adolescents. Review the new regulations.
October is Liver Cancer Awareness Month
Liver cancer death rates have doubled since the 1980s and continue to rise across the country, yet liver cancer is often a preventable disease. About 50 to 60 percent of liver cancer cases in the U.S. are related to the hepatitis B and C viruses. That’s why it’s so important to talk to your health care professional about getting vaccinated and tested. Liver Cancer Awareness Month is a reminder to make an appointment today.
Vaccination against hepatitis B and treatment for hepatitis C are proven methods to prevent liver cancer. To learn more about the link between hepatitis B, hepatitis C and liver cancer, visit thinkaboutthelink.org.