Trending News Today: GOP Considers Individual Mandate Repeal in Tax Reform

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

House Republicans are considering repealing an Affordable Care Act (ACA) provision through tax overhaul, according to The New York Times. The House Ways and Means Committee plans to begin working on overhauling the tax code this week, with hopes of a vote before Thanksgiving. Despite the consistent GOP push to repeal the mandate, this effort may be problematic since previous efforts to repeal the ACA have failed, according to the Times.

While some have speculated that the potential merger of CVS and Aetna is related to Amazon potentially entering the pharmacy business, industry experts have suggested that the threat from UnitedHealth Group may also play a role, according to California Healthline. UnitedHealth has reach from insurance to pharmacy benefit management, in addition to owning clinics, surgery centers, and medical practices, according to the article. The large reach protects UnitedHealth from significant financial hits in any of its specific sectors, which may be desirable for CVS and Aetna.

On Friday, the House passed legislation that provides funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program for another 5 years, which ran out more than a month ago, The New York Times reported. The bill would offset the costs by increasing Medicare premiums, reduce Medicaid enrollment, and cut funding for public health initiatives. Despite passing the House, the Senate plans to make major changes to the bill to prevent the issues with funding that caused a significant rift between the parties, according to the article.

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