Trending News Today: American Health Care Act Passes in Key Committees

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

The American Health Care Act (AHCA) recently cleared both the Ways and Means and the Energy and Commerce committees, which has caused Republicans to gain significant victories despite backlash. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) replacement plan is now heading to the Budget Committee for voting, and is slated to reach the House by the end of the month, according to The Washington Post. However, the quick process has raised concerns about the law’s success in future voting sessions.

GOP leaders warn that making major changes to the AHCA would likely result in the bill failing in the Senate, preventing their efforts to end the ACA, according to USA Today. The bill was crafted in a way that would meet budget restrictions and not require any votes from Democrats to be enacted. Significant changes proposed by conservatives and other interest groups have the potential to violate the restrictions and allow Democrats to block the law.

A large health insurer is proposing changes to their pharmacy benefit design that would require customers to pay up to $50 more out-of-pocket for drugs at non-preferred locations, Kaiser Health News reported. This approval could affect the coverage and costs for nearly 2 million customers living in California. While Blue Shield customers will still have access to many pharmacies, they will have to purchase their drugs at preferred locations to ensure low co-payments.