Overnight Health Care: Trump proposal could lead 3M people to leave ObamaCare, study finds | Dem pushes DEA for data on opioid distributors | Scott Walker signs bill to stabilize ObamaCare market

Overnight Health Care: Trump proposal could lead 3M people to leave ObamaCare, study finds | Dem pushes DEA for data on opioid distributors | Scott Walker signs bill to stabilize ObamaCare market
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Study: Trump insurance proposal could lead to 3M people leaving ObamaCare

A Trump administration proposal that would allow businesses to band together to buy insurance would shift more than 3 million enrollees out of ObamaCare's marketplaces and lead to premium increases, according to a new analysis released Wednesday.

The administration's proposed rule would expand association health plans, which allow small businesses or self-employed individuals to band together to buy coverage.

An analysis from health consulting firm Avalere estimates that 3.2 million enrollees would shift from ObamaCare's individual and small group markets to association health plans by 2022.

As a result, by 2022 premiums for individuals buying health insurance through ObamaCare would increase by 3.5 percent and by 0.5 percent for small businesses that purchase plans through the law's small group market.

Read more here.

 

Dem urges DEA to release data on opioid distributors

A Democratic lawmaker is urging the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to release data on the distribution of opioids across the country to those involved in hundreds of lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and distributors.

"I would just encourage the DEA to be as responsive as possible," Rep. Kathy CastorKatherine (Kathy) Anne CastorClimate activist Greta Thunberg implores lawmakers to 'listen to the best available science' House approves two bills to block Trump drilling Pelosi, Schumer invite US women's soccer team to Capitol MORE (D-Fla.) told a DEA official during a House Energy and Commerce health subcommittee hearing Wednesday.

"If there is a law that is preventing you from sharing certain data, the Congress needs to understand that," Castor said.

A Cleveland-based federal judge is overseeing various lawsuits from cities and municipalities against opioid manufacturers and distributors.

At a hearing Monday, U.S. District Judge Dan Polster told the DEA to inform him by next week if it will release some data showing transactions by opioid manufacturers and distributors, Cleveland.com reported.

The database shows how many drugs were sold, where they were sent and the pharmacies that purchased them. In early February, the judge ordered the plaintiffs and the DEA to come to an agreement on what part of the database the DEA would produce.

Absent an agreement, the judge could order the full release of the database, something the DEA opposes, according to Cleveland.com.

Read more here.

 

Scott Walker signs bill aimed at stabilizing ObamaCare market

Gov. Scott Walker (Wis.), a Republican who has been one of ObamaCare's most vocal opponents, signed a bill Tuesday that would shore up the law's insurance markets.

The bill would authorize the state to apply for a federal waiver to offer a reinsurance program covering 80 percent of medical claims costing between $50,000 and $250,000.

The program would cost $200 million, with the federal government paying 75 percent of the costs, and is meant to lower premiums for everyone else by paying for claims filed by the sickest, most expensive patients.

Estimates from the state say reinsurance would lower health-care premiums for those in the individual market by 13 percent in 2019 and 12 percent in 2020.

"Our Health Care Stability Plan is our solution to Washington's failure; we want to provide health care stability and lower premiums for Wisconsin," Walker said.

But state Democrats called Walker's push for stabilization hypocritical. Walker had previously called for the law to be repealed and replaced.

Read more here.

 

Lawmakers seek information on curbing opioid addiction in Medicare

Top Republicans and Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee are requesting information from critical stakeholders on how to prevent and treat opioid addiction in Medicare, as the panel seeks to craft bipartisan legislation to curb the opioid epidemic.

Specifically, they're asking insurers, benefit managers, providers and prescribers to submit information on how the Medicare program can help stem the opioid epidemic -- noting that one in three beneficiaries in Medicare's prescription drug program received a prescription opioid in 2016.

Chairman Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyLobbying groups ask Congress for help on Trump tariffs Republicans pour cold water on Trump's term limit idea Republicans' rendezvous with reality — their plan is to cut Social Security MORE (R-Texas) and ranking member Richard NealRichard Edmund NealLobbying groups ask Congress for help on Trump tariffs Senate confirms two Treasury nominees over Democratic objections Trump urges judge to deny New York's motion to dismiss state tax return lawsuit MORE (D-Mass.) -- along with Health Subcommittee Chairman Peter Roskam Peter James RoskamEx-GOP Rep. Roskam joins lobbying firm Blue states angry over SALT cap should give fiscal sobriety a try Illinois Dems offer bill to raise SALT deduction cap MORE (R-Ill.) and the top Democrat, Sandy Levin (Mich.) -- sent the request Tuesday.

By March 15, they're asking the stakeholders to provide information on overprescribing, data tracking, treatment, communication and education.

Read more here.

 

What we're reading

Bank loans signed in the hospital leave patients vulnerable (Kaiser Health News)

Lawmakers seek to add measure on drug prices to massive spending deal (Washington Examiner)

Celgene stumbles again, as FDA declines to review multiple sclerosis drug critical to company future (Stat)

 

State by state

Red and blue states move further apart on health policy (The Wall Street Journal)

Health care revamp at the L.A. County jails (Kaiser Health News)

Oregon effort to declare health care a right falters (Associated Press)

 

From The Hill's opinion pages

FDA must step up on rare diseases after cuts to Orphan Drug Tax Credit