Trending News Today: Could a Single-Payer System Replace Obamacare?
Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.
A Gallup poll found that more than half of Americans want to replace Obamacare with a single-payer system, including 41% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, reported The Washington Post. For years, Republicans have wanted the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to be repealed or replaced and the large amount of Republicans in favor of a single-payer system could be due to a hostile view of the ACA. The question of whether the program should be expanded, improved, or have a complete overhaul that moves towards a single-payer system is sort of a 3-way tie. Nearly 8 in 10 Democrats want to keep the ACA, while under three-quarters of Democrats want to replace it with a single-payer system. The Gallup poll results reveal that although Democrats are generally happy with the ACA, they would love a single-payer system. Republicans hate the ACA and a majority are still opposed to a federally-funded program.
Insurance companies that have pulled out of the marketplace may still sell individual policies outside the marketplaces, reported columnist Michelle Andrews in Kaiser Health News. Although several insurers have decided to stop selling plans on the marketplace, it does not mean that it will necessarily stop offering individual coverage in that state altogether. In fact, Aetna has stopped selling individual plans on marketplaces in Kansas, Utah, and the District of Columbia, but still continue to sell these policies outside marketplaces in these areas. However, Aetna did stop selling off-exchange plans in the District of Columbia, which requires insurers to offer their products on the exchange if they sell on the individual and small group markets.
After terminating its $152 billion merger with Allergan last month, Pfizer agreed to acquire Anacor Pharmaceuticals for $5.2 billion. According to The New York Times, Anacor’s crisaborole is currently under review by the FDA to treat eczema. The manufacturer also makes Kerydin, a topical treatment for a form of toenail fungus. “We believe we are well positioned to maximize crisaborole’s commercial potential through our strong relationships with pediatricians and primary care physicians,” said Albert Bourla, group president of Pfizer’s global innovative pharma and global vaccines, oncology and consumer health care businesses. Under the agreement terms, a subsidiary of Pfizer will acquire Anacor for $99.25 a share in cash, and Pfizer will finance the transaction through existing cash on its balance sheet. The acquisition is expected to be completed in 2016’s third quarter.