Trending News Today: Democrats Planning to Preserve Affordable Care Act

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

The new Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement program is saving millions per year, with the potential to save billions, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Under the program, Medicare agrees to pay hospitals a bundled payment for all care related to hip or knee replacement surgery, from the time of surgery until 90 days after, Kaiser Health News reported. The results of the study showed that hospitals saved an average of 8% while using the program. The investigators estimate it could save Medicare $2 billion annually if every hospital adopted the bundled payment model. Unfortunately, the article noted that President-elect Donald Trump nominated US Representative Tom Price (R-GA) as secretary of the US Department of Health & Human Services, an orthopedic surgeon who actively opposes mandating bundled payments for these surgeries. It is likely he will revoke the program, Kaiser reported.

President Barack Obama met with congressional Democrats this morning to create a strategy in defense of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and other health care policies, according to The Washington Post. The meeting at Capitol Hill is part of the administration’s final efforts to maintain Obama’s signature health care law before Trump takes office. The ACA has spurred the most significant changes to US health policy since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid, the Post reported.

On Inauguration Day, the DC Cannabis Coalition (DCMJ) plans to hand out thousands of free joints of marijuana in an effort to legalize cannabis at the federal level, USA Today reported. The group will hand out 4200 joints starting at 8 am on the west side of Dupont Circle in Washington, DC, where recreational marijuana is legal. Then, at 4 minutes and 20 seconds into President-elect Donald Trump’s speech, protestors are encouraged to light up as an act of protest. Adam Eidinger, founder of the DCMJ, told USA Today that this is not an anti-Trump event or an attempt to disrupt the ceremony.