Trending News Today: AHCA Expected to be Unveiled Thursday

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that the Senate version of the American Health Care Act will be unveiled Thursday. While the vote will not happen until the Congressional Budget Office scores the bill, McConnell expects a vote to happen as early as next week, according to USA Today. Democrats have criticized the secrecy of the drafting process of the bill, citing that the public was not able to view the proposal. Additionally, Republican lawmakers who were in working groups designated to draft the bill also said they had not seen it, despite being placed in charge of writing the legislation, according to the article.

GOP lawmakers are planning to vote on the AHCA next week, and this political risk could jeopardize the Senate majority if the bill receives a low approval rating, Politico reported. Sen McConnell can only receive 2 no votes from Republicans to pass the legislation, which may be difficult to achieve. Previously, both moderate and conservative legislators voiced concerns over the bill’s provisions that deal with Medicaid and patients with preexisting conditions. With no Democratic support, the success of the bill relies on the unification of the Republican Party.

A draft of an executive order on drug prices from President Donald Trump would lessen regulatory hurdles for pharmaceutical manufacturers, which is expected to reduce drug costs, according to The New York Times. The executive order would allow manufacturers to increase exclusivity overseas and reduce discounts given to hospitals and clinics in low-income areas. However, the proposal does not directly address drug costs or negotiating drug prices for Medicare, according to the article.