Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.
President Donald Trump recently suggested that Republicans could further reduce taxes for Americans by repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual mandate, according to The New York Times. Although the ACA was excluded from the tax reform proposal being debated by legislators, Trump tweeted that cutting the “top rate to 35% w/all of the rest going to middle income cuts.” The new suggestion came only hours before the Senate Finance Committee started to debate the tax reform bill, which would cut $1.5 trillion in taxes, according to the article.
Yesterday, Alex M. Azar II, former Eli Lilly executive and a health official for George W. Bush, was nominated by Trump to be the secretary of health and human services, The New York Times reported. If confirmed, Azar would replace Tom Price, MD, who resigned after a scandal involving his use of chartered jets for government travel. The Times said that Azar has significant knowledge of how to advance the GOP’s desire to repeal and replace the ACA, which appeals to the administration.
After the first hepatitis C virus (HCV) cure was approved, San Francisco, CA, developed the End Hep C SF program, which aims to eliminate the virus, according to STAT. Under the program, health workers test patients for HCV and locate homeless individuals who have yet to pick up their medications. Additionally, more physicians are being educated about HCV and patients are able to keep their drugs at a syringe exchange, according to the article. Advocates said that the largest hurdle to overcome is getting individuals into the program.