Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.
President Donald Trump is urging Congress to make fundamental changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), warning that the health care system is in danger of imploding, reported The New York Times. Trump met with dozens of governors while Congress is preparing to move forward on an ACA repeal. Governors are concerned that changes in the health care law could undermine their efforts to expand Medicaid within their states, placing a larger financial burden on them. Trump told the governors, “It’s an unbelievably complex subject. Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated.” Trump also met with health insurance executives, some of whom expressed concern that the uncertainty of the ACA’s future is spilling into the marketplace. After the meeting, insurers said that Trump and Health Secretary Tom Price pledged to stabilize the markets and bring down costs, according to the NY Times. The CEO of Independence Blue Cross Dan Hilferty said, “President Trump and Vice President Pence were very clear that they will work toward a clear transition.”
A medical-negligence trial was opened Monday on behalf of military veteran Steven Harold Cooper, whose lawyer claimed that his client’s now-terminal prostate cancer would have been curable, according to The Washington Post. One of Cooper’s attorneys, Gregory Patton, said the nurse practitioner at the Veterans Administration (VA) hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, found abnormalities in Cooper’s prostate during an examination in December 2011, but failed to order more testing and a referral to a urologist. Attorneys defending the VA said that the nurse practitioner had complied with the applicable standard of care, and at that point, Cooper was not considered to be at risk from prostate cancer. Attorney Elizabeth Sichi said that at the time of Cooper’s first appointment, there was no reason to send him to a urologist. Additionally, he did not have any risk factors, such as a family history of cancer, the Post reported.
GOP conservatives are speaking out against a leaked draft of an Obamacare replacement plan, potentially preventing the proposal from being officially introduced, reported Politico. The possible replacement bill would roll back a large portion of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, and replace subsidies for insurance exchanges with tax credits. A joint statement from 3 senators intends to demonstrate that the proposed bill cannot pass the Senate. The lawmakers are concerned that the tax credits will become a new entitlement program and be heavily abused; however, numerous Republicans in the Senate and House are open to the idea, according to Politico.