Trending News Today: GOP Proposes Tax Reform Bill

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

Yesterday, House Republicans proposed new legislation to overhaul the tax code. While the proposed legislation will not repeal penalties for uninsured Americans, it would eliminate deductions for those with medical costs 10% above their adjusted gross income, according to Kaiser Health News. The IRS said that not many individuals qualify to deduct their medical expenses. However, a majority of these individuals are over 50 years of age and typically have high costs related to long-term care, according to the article.

Former Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy—a member of the opioid commission—recently told The Hill that the government would need more than $100 billion over the next decade to combat the opioid epidemic. The commission recently released a report with 56 ways to fight the epidemic, which included a recommendation that Congress provide “sufficient funds,” according to the article. While the public emergency fund has nearly run out of money, Kennedy calls for a commitment of at least $100 billion in order to effectively reduce the burden of opioids.

Yesterday, the Trump administration reversed a policy on biosimilar reimbursement, which supporters said reduced drug costs for patients with chronic diseases, according to STAT. Previously, the Obama administration incentivized the use of biosimilars through special Medicare payments to incite competition among manufacturers. The reversal gained support from manufacturers who have said the policy reduces innovation in the market and drives up drug costs.