Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.
Individuals who sign up for health plans on the Affordable Care Act marketplace are facing higher premiums and fewer choices, which may lead to many opting not to get insurance for 2018, according to The New York Times. While subsidies can help offset price hikes, individuals who make 4 times the federal poverty level are ineligible for assistance. In 2016, approximately 7 million individuals did not qualify for subsidies and the uninsured rate among this population increased from 2% in 2016 to 5% in 2017, the Times reported.
The House-approved tax reform bill would significantly increase taxable income for 8.8 million Americans who spend more than 10% of their income on medical care, many of whom are seniors, according to The Washington Post. A vast majority of these individuals make less than $75,000 annually, which would take a toll on the middle class. However, the Senate version of the bill would keep the deductions and lower the threshold to 7.5% of income. This key difference in the legislation must be reconciled before the final legislation is approved by both the House and Senate.
Pharmaceutical manufacturers recently filed a lawsuit against new California legislation that would require the companies to disclose prescription drug increases, the Los Angeles Times reported. Senate Bill 17 requires a 60-day notice to providers and payers when manufacturers increase drug prices above a certain threshold. While the manufacturers argue the law is unconstitutional, proponents claim that it would be a significant step towards transparent drug pricing, according to the article.