This Week in Health Care

Last week, Senate Republicans released a draft of their health care reform bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). Like the House bill, the BCRA repeals the individual and employer mandates and rolls back the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Medicaid expansion. The BCRA also caps per-person Medicaid spending and gives states the ability to change essential health benefits. The ACA’s tax credits and protections for those with pre-existing conditions are largely unchanged. (Health Affairs)

Five Republican senators have announced opposition to the BCRA as written. Four don’t believe the bill does enough to repeal the ACA, while Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) expressed concerns about Medicaid cuts. Republican leadership would like to hold a vote this week, while other senators want more time to review the bill. (Washington Post)

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its scoring of the BCRA. The analysis projects a $321 million deficit reduction over the next decade and 22 million more uninsured people by 2026. Average premiums are expected to rise relative to current projections until 2020, and fall thereafter. (Congressional Budget Office)

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is planning to hold a public hearing in July on “gaming” by brand-name drug companies. Gaming is a practice where drugmakers prevent competition by using regulatory rules to delay the approval of generic drugs. The Senate has introduced a bill that would allow generic drugmakers to sue companies who game the rules and delay approval. (Morning Consult)

Article source:Health Blog

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