Trending News Today: FDA Commissioner Nominee Passes Senate Panel

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

A bill that would ban conversion therapy treatments was introduced this week by Democratic lawmakers, The Washington Post reported. Conversion therapy is a psychological treatment that targets the LGBT community and is designed to change an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act of 2017 was introduced on Tuesday by Rep Ted Lieu (D-CA) plus Sens Patty Murray (D-WA) and Cory Booker (D-NJ). The bill would allow the Federal Trade Commission to classify conversion therapy and its practitioners as fraudulent. Thus far, approximately 70 Democratic members of Congress have said they support the bill, the Post reported.

Physician Scott Gottlieb was approved to be the next FDA commissioner in a 14 to 9 vote by the Senate health committee. According to The Washington Post, all 12 Republicans on the committee voted in favor of Gottlieb, as well as Democrats Michael F. Bennet (D-CO) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). Gottlieb is a former venture capitalist who served as FDA deputy commissioner during the George W. Bush administration, the Post reported. The nomination will now be sent to the full Senate to await approval.

As the fate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal bill hangs in the air, moderate Republicans are largely withholding their support of the bill because they believe it will hurt patients with preexisting conditions. “My concern has always been and what a lot of us talked about: people with preexisting conditions, the elderly,” Rep Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL) said, as reported by Politico. “How this makes the original bill better? Where is the part that is better for the folks I’m concerned about it? I’m not seeing it at this stage.” A key part of the ACA is to provide protections for patients with preexisting conditions, and moderate Republicans are concerned about removing these protections with a reliable replacement, according to Politico. If the resistance sticks, it would be enough to block the ACA repeal in the House.