Trending News Today: VA's Private Health Care Program Scrambles for More Funding

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

The Senate unanimously passed the bipartisan Medicare reform bill on Tuesday aimed at making the program more efficient and to cut down on costs, according to The Hill. The CHRONIC Care Act expands certain programs created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which will provide care for seniors in their homes, streamline care coordination services, improve disease management, and expand the use of telehealth. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said in a statement, “This legislation will improve disease management, lower Medicare costs, and streamline care coordination services—–all without adding to the deficit,” The Hill reported. “[The measure is] one of the few bipartisan health care bills to pass the Senate this Congress,” Hatch added.

Although the veterans’ health initiative received $2.1 billion in emergency funding just weeks ago, the private health care program may run out of money by year’s end. According to The Washington Post, the Trump administration said the Veterans Choice health care program may require additional funding as early as December to avoid a disruption of care. A proposed long-term legislation that seeks money to keep CHOICE running for most of next year while the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) implements changes is currently under review by the White House Office of Management and Budget. The VA released a statement saying it hoped to move quickly on the proposed legislation to provide veterans with wider access to private physicians, the Post reported.

Despite concerns over health insurers making last-minute exits from ACA marketplaces, insurers will offer ACA plans in all US counties next year, according to The Wall Street Journal. This week Cigna Corp, Health Care Service Corp, Molina Healthcare Inc, Highmark Health, and Independence Blue Cross said it would continue to offer plans in the states and regions where they had filed to offer ACA coverage—–companies that had previously stated that they may pull back.