Overnight Healthcare: GOP chairman says ObamaCare protests won't alter repeal plans

Overnight Healthcare: GOP chairman says ObamaCare protests won't alter repeal plans
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House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said Monday that crowds of people at town halls across the country worried about the fate of ObamaCare will not alter Republican plans to repeal and replace the law.

Brady, a key player on healthcare, was asked by reporters if the pro-ObamaCare sentiment at town halls would "have any impact to the Republican push to repeal and replace?"

"I don't think it will," Brady replied.

"I think it's healthy to have these discussions," he added. "I know at the town hall I held, we had some people who feel strongly for ObamaCare and all those high prices and premiums. I stayed late to make sure we could visit with as many as we could and so I think all this input is healthy." Read more here. http://bit.ly/2l1L5FF

Sanders, Cummings hit pharma company for drug's $89k price tag

Two top lawmakers are questioning a pharmaceutical company after it said it would charge $89,000 a year for a drug that treats a deadly form of childhood-onset muscular dystrophy.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), two vocal critics of high drug prices, demanded answers from Marathon Pharmaceuticals Monday, calling the price of Deflazacort "unconscionable."


"Marathon's apparent abuse of government-granted exclusivity periods and incentives to sell what should be a widely available drug for $89,000 a year is unconscionable," Sanders and Cummings wrote in the letter to the CEO of Marathon.

"Exorbitantly pricing potentially life-saving medications that should be widely available for a fraction of the price hinders patient access and drives up costs for the entire healthcare sector."

The Food and Drug Administration approved Deflazacort for use in the U.S. Thursday as a treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a rare early-onset genetic disorder that causes progressive muscle deterioration and weakness.

Marathon subsequently said it would charge $89,000 for the drug, although it is sold for $1,000 in other countries.

Read more here: http://bit.ly/2lJAfnz

GOP group targets 50 House members on ObamaCare

A political group aligned with House GOP leadership is launching a yearlong ad campaign targeting 50 House members to support repealing and replacing ObamaCare.

American Action Network (AAN) will concentrate on 50 members from both sides of the aisle ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. AAN will use digital ads that appear when constituents in these districts type in keywords -- including the lawmaker's name -- into the search engines Google and Bing.

When a constituent searches one of the targeted lawmakers, an ad appears urging them to replace former President Obama's signature healthcare law and links to a website called "A Better Health Care Plan."

The ads will target dozens of Democrats representing districts carried by President Trump in the November election, as well as swing-state lawmakers from both parties.

The ad campaign also focuses on Republicans serving in House leadership, including House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and National Republican Congressional Campaign (NRCC) chairman Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio).

Read more here: http://bit.ly/2l1JrEa  

200 patient groups ask Price to keep protections for those with pre-existing conditions

More than 200 patient groups are asking the newly confirmed Health and Human Services secretary to preserve key ObamaCare protections, including one that guarantees coverage for those with pre-existing conditions.

In a letter to Tom Price, I Am Essential, a coalition of patient and community organizations, says certain ObamaCare provisions have provided improved access to care to millions living with chronic and serious health conditions.

"If they lose access and coverage for even one day, their health and well-being can be immediately jeopardized," the letter reads.

"Therefore, providing them with continuous coverage and consistent care and treatment must be your number one priority."

The organizations, which include the AIDS Institute and the Epilepsy Foundation, ask Price to keep ObamaCare provisions that prevent insurers from denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions and others that say insurers can't establish lifetime coverage limits and annual out-of-pocket costs.

Read more here: http://bit.ly/2l1JShP


What we're reading

Employers balk at curbs on generous health plans (Wall Street Journal)

Sharp rise reported in older Americans' use of multiple psychiatric drugs (The New York Times)

As opioid deaths rise, families of color stay silent (Stat News)

State by state

Report: Texas's privatized Medicaid program serves fewer people, costs more (Houston Chronicle)

South Carolina lawmakers accidently endorse expanding Medicaid (thestate.com)


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