Trending News Today: FDA Restricts Sale of Essure Birth Control

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

On Monday, the Trump administration created new exemptions to Obamacare’s individual mandate, The Hill reported. According to The Hill, the mandate changes would exempt people from having to pay the penalty for lacking insurance if they live in a county with no insurers offering coverage or only 1 insurer, or if the only insurance plans available cover abortions, in violation of their beliefs. Other changes announced Monday include additional flexibility for states to change Essential Health Benefits, the list of health services that insurance plans must cover, according to the article.

Officials with the FDA issued an order restricting the sale and distribution of Essure, a brand of permanent birth control manufactured by Bayer, after years of receiving complaints about its adverse effects, The Hill reported. According to the article, the FDA last month said it received nearly 12,000 medical reports in 2017 related to Essure. The birth control was approved in 2002, but was given the strongest warning label in 2016 following complaints from women who said it caused pelvic pain, hair loss, muscle weakness, perforation of the uterus, and other issues, according to The Hill.

On Monday, a California lawmaker unveiled a proposal calling for the state to set health prices in the commercial insurance market, California Healthline reported. According to the article, the commission would use Medicare reimbursement as a benchmark and then factor in providers’ operating costs, geography, and a reasonable amount of profit to establish rates. The legislation, called the Health Care Price Relief Act, faces opposition from physician groups and hospitals, according to California Healthline.