Trending News Today: Senate Leaders to Develop a Backup Plan for Healthcare Reform

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) plans to revise the proposed legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA); however, if the bill does not gain enough support, McConnell will develop an alternate plan, according to The New York Times. If the Senate bill fails, GOP leaders may craft a smaller bill to provide relief for insurers and patients. Previously, Republicans said the potential bill could include provisions that provide subsidies and incentives for healthy individuals to enroll, the Times reported.

A new report from the CDC indicates that the number of opioid prescriptions has been decreasing since its peak in 2010, according to Kaiser Health News. This trend is likely due to efforts from public health and law enforcement officials, in addition to novel recommendations about prescribing opioids. Despite the downward trend, the CDC reported that the amount of prescriptions in 2015 is still 3 times higher than at the turn of the century, according to the article.

Several reports indicate that President Donald Trump may nominate Brenda Fitzgerald, MD, to serve as the director of the CDC, according to Stat. Dr Fitzgerald is an obstetrician-gynecologist who is currently the public health commissioner for Georgia. If appointed, Dr Fitzgerald would replace Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, who served as CDC director for 8 years. While Dr Fitzgerald has practiced medicine for more than 30 years, it is unclear if she has conducted scientific research, which is a major component of the agency, according to the article.