Trending News Today: ACA Repeal Revised to Include Additional Funding for States of GOP Holdouts

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

Republican senators have revised their latest bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in an effort to gain additional votes, Politico reported. The revised legislation would increase funding by 3% for Alaska, 14% for Arizona, and 4% for Kentucky. These states are home to senators who have expressed concerns with or opposed the bill, including Sens Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Jon McCain (R-AZ), and Rand Paul (R-KY). Alaska would also benefit from an additional 25% increase in federal Medicaid funding under the current proposal, according to the article.

Despite perception that Medicaid cuts would only affect low-income Americans, the program helps patients in need of nursing home care, those affected by the Flint water crisis, and also transports disabled children to physician appointments, according to Kaiser Health News. Additionally, Medicaid helps prevent parents from declaring bankruptcy to care for their sick child, while also providing relief for disasters, public health emergencies, and school programs. The latest ACA repeal effort would provide block funding to the program, which could threaten coverage for more than 74 million Americans. Kaiser reports that approximately 25% of Americans will enroll in Medicaid during their lives.

During his campaign, President Donald Trump vowed to lower drug costs that are plaguing many Americans; however, this concern has been overshadowed due to the focus on repealing the ACA, according to Kaiser Health News. Numerous bipartisan bills aimed at lowering drug costs have been recently introduced, including efforts to allow the United States to import drugs, negotiate Medicare drug costs, speed up FDA approvals of generics, require warning before manufacturers raise drug costs, and limit drug ads. Other efforts that may lower drug costs include banning patents for drugs that replicate or repackage current drugs and pricing drugs based efficacy; however, these have yet to be introduced, according to the article.