Trending News Today: Legislators Struggle with ACA Replacement Provisions

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandate that requires all Americans to have health insurance or be subject to a fine may be replaced with a mandate that is just as unpopular, according to Politico. GOP lawmakers creating a replacement plan for the ACA are finding it difficult to create a provision that would incentivize insurers to cover patients with pre-existing conditions. Charging fines for the uninsured is reminiscent of ACA tax penalties, and a provision to automatically enroll individuals in plans may face heavy opposition by conservative Republicans, which has left lawmakers uncertain of how to proceed.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) recently announced that the ACA replacement plan would be completed this year in order to prevent speculation that the Trump Administration was not following through with their campaign promises of a quick repeal. This statement followed President Donald Trump’s statement that the replacement plan could come as late as next year. Ryan also said that confirming Rep Tom Price (R-GA) as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services was important, to allow legislators to work towards replacing the law as soon as possible, according to The New York Times.

The FDA may not have acted quickly enough against a surgical device that has been seen to spread fatal uterine cancers. Laparoscopic power morcellators was on the market for 22 years before an FDA program alerted the agency to the issue, according to The Wall Street Journal. Reports from the 1980s highlight the risk of spreading cancer through these devices, but the FDA thought that the risks were low.