Trending News Today: Patient Population Skeptical of Gene Therapy for Sickle Cell Disease

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

Yesterday, President Donald Trump proposed a rule that would authorize insurers to sell short-term health plans for up to 12 months, a move that could further complicate the marketplace, according to Kaiser Health News. The rule states that short-term plans would increase low-cost options for patients and broaden provider networks; however, these plans require patients to answer medical questions and allow insurers to reject those with preexisting conditions, according to the article.

Numerous companies recently received notices from the IRS that detail significant fines for violating the Affordable Care Act (ACA) employer mandate, Politico reported. This action is likely to spark another legal fight over the ACA, following numerous attempts to repeal the health law. The notices cover violations from 2015, for which the Obama administration did not try to collect previously, according to the article. The companies argue that they never received warnings from ACA exchanges at the time and they should not have to pay the fine, according to the article.

The first attempts at harnessing CRISPR gene-editing technology have been successful in sickle cell disease. Although these findings represent a needed win for the patient community, enrolling African American patients in clinical trials may be challenging due to a history of unethical experimentation, according to STAT. Currently, there are limited therapies for sickle cell disease, which leaves patients vulnerable to disease progression. Top researchers are meeting with African American leaders to help educate patients about CRISPR and the potential benefits of the treatment for those with sickle cell disease, according to the article.