SIGN UP! If you’d like to continue receiving Washington Examiner's Daily on Healthcare newsletter, SUBSCRIBE HERE: http://newsletters.washingtonexaminer.com/newsletter/daily-on-healthcare/
President Trump to meet with GOP caucus over lunch to discuss tax bill. The president is scheduled to speak with Republican senators during their lunch at 1 p.m. today to energize them over their tax bill, which contains a provision that would repeal the individual mandate penalties. Trump met with some Republicans from the Senate Finance Committee Monday, and the senators emerged from the meeting projecting optimism. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, are the only GOP senators who has expressed concern about the inclusion of the individual mandate repeal but haven’t said explicitly that they would oppose the tax bill because of it. A Senate Budget Committee hearing on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is scheduled for this afternoon, and Republican Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Bob Corker of Tennessee have signaled they plan to oppose moving the bill forward. Senate leaders still say they hope to pass a bill by the end of the week, but the timeline could be pushed back.
Welcome to Philip Klein’s Daily on Healthcare, compiled by Washington Examiner Managing Editor Philip Klein (@philipaklein), Senior Healthcare Writer Kimberly Leonard (@LeonardKL) and Healthcare Reporter Robert King (@rking_19). Email email@example.com for tips, suggestions, calendar items and anything else. If a friend sent this to you and you’d like to sign up, click here. If signing up doesn’t work, shoot us an email and we’ll add you to our list.
Some Republicans willing to add reinsurance to Obamacare. Some Senate Republicans are embracing the idea of adding more funding for Obamacare insurers to help cover the most expensive customers in an effort to lower premiums. But Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington was skeptical that adding funds for a reinsurance program could offset the impact of repealing the law's individual mandate, which is included in the Senate version of Republicans' tax reform legislation. Collins said reinsurance funding should be added to a bipartisan Obamacare stabilization deal to blunt the impact of repealing the requirement that everyone buy insurance. Some Republicans are open to the idea but face stiff resistance from conservatives and President Trump, who have labeled other stabilization efforts as “bailouts.”
CMS releases proposed dates for next year’s open enrollment. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Monday released a proposed schedule for the 2018 open enrollment, including when insurers should file proposed rates with states and when contracts should be finalized. Though the document states that open enrollment for healthcare.gov would begin Nov. 1, it does not say when it would end. It’s not clear if CMS will continue to keep the open enrollment period at six weeks or extend it to the three months allowed under the first four open enrollments. The Obama administration had planned to shorten the 2018 open enrollment period to six weeks, but the Trump administration moved that up one year.
Colorado warns families to be prepared on CHIP funding. The Colorado government has notified families whose children receive government-funded health coverage that they may need to consider private health insurance if federal funding doesn't come through. In Colorado, funding is expected to run out Jan. 31, which would affect more than 75,000 children and 800 pregnant women in the state. In letters sent to families, the state's Department of Health Care Policy and Financing advised recipients to be prepared if the federal government doesn't restore funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
Steny Hoyer praises Surgeon General Jerome Adams for opioid strategy. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer drew parallels on Monday between the way former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop handled the AIDS crisis and the expectations he has for how the current surgeon general, Jerome Adams, tackles the opioid crisis. "The surgeon general can make an extraordinary impact," said Hoyer, D-Md., speaking next to Adams at a forum on opioids at the College of Southern Maryland. "My belief is that surgeon General Adams will do exactly that."
Counterfeit meds growing problem in developing countries. About one in 10 medical products in developing countries are fake or of poor quality, according to the World Health Organization. The agency released a report Tuesday that outlined the scope of the global problem. “Imagine a mother who gives up food or other basic needs to pay for her child’s treatment, unaware that the medicines are substandard or falsified, and then that treatment causes her child to die. This is unacceptable,” said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “Countries have agreed on measures at the global level — it is time to translate them into tangible action.” WHO has received 1,500 reports since 2013 of poor quality or counterfeit drugs, with antibiotics and antimalarials the most common. More than 40 percent of the reports come from sub-Saharan Africa, 21 percent from the Americas, and 21 percent from Europe. WHO pointed out that online pharmacies can easily circumvent regulations to prevent the sale of counterfeit drugs. “These are especially popular in high-income countries, but more research is needed to determine the proportion and impact of sales of substandard or falsified medical products,” WHO said.
Facebook creates artificial intelligence tools to help prevent suicide. Facebook has introduced new artificial intelligence tools to help with suicide prevention, according to Facebook Vice President Guy Rosen. Rosen said Monday that the new technology will recognize patterns in posts and analyze videos that users post.
Fight over religious liberty vs. LGBT rights expands to adoption. Rival bills in Congress would expand or gut provisions enacted in a handful of states that allow faith-based adoption and foster agencies to turn away applications from same-sex couples. Though adoption by same-sex couples became legal nationwide in 2016, faith-based agencies have sought exemptions, saying that they don't want to be forced to violate their religious convictions about marriage and family, but same-sex couples say those actions amount to discrimination.
Axios How Trump has reshaped the Affordable Care Act
The Hill Fighting for Obamacare
Reuters Europe’s HIV epidemic growing at alarming rate, WHO warns
Politico Trump is continuing the war on drugs that kept me addicted
Bloomberg How opioids started killing Americans
Kaiser Health News Heated and deep-pocketed battle erupts over 340B drug discount program
STAT News 7 questions for Alex Azar, Trump’s health secretary nominee
New York Times Gene therapy hits a peculiar roadblock: a virus shortage
NPR Puerto Rico’s medical manufacturers worry federal tax plan could kill storm recovery
TUESDAY | Nov. 28
House and Senate in session.
1 p.m. President Trump to speak at GOP Senate lunch.
12:30 p.m. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold a field hearing at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore to examine the opioid epidemic and the recommendations of President Trump’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. Details.
WEDNESDAY | Nov. 29
Nov. 29-30. New York. Forbes Healthcare Summit. Details.
9:30 a.m. 430 Dirksen. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on the nomination of Alex Azar for secretary of Health and Human Services. Details.
2 p.m. 2172 Rayburn. Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing on “A Global Update on Alzheimer’s Disease.” Details.
THURSDAY | Nov. 30
Nov. 30-Dec. 1. Washington Hilton. 1919 Connecticut Ave. NW. ONC Annual Meeting on “Tackling Barriers to Interoperability and Usability.” Details.
10 a.m. 430 Dirksen Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on “The Front Lines of the Opioid Crisis: Perspectives from States, Communities and Providers.” Details.
10 a.m. Rayburn 2123. House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the implementation of the 21st Century Cures Act, with testimony from NIH Director Francis Collins and FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. Details.
11:05 a.m. Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, to discuss the opioid epidemic at the Forbes Healthcare Summit. Stream Live.
Noon. B-318 Sam Johnson Room in Rayburn. Congressional briefing with America’s Health Insurance Plans on “The Value and Future of Employer Health Plans.” Details.
1 p.m. National Press Club. 529 14th St. NW. National Academies to release 2017 Affordable Drugs Report. Details.
FRIDAY | Dec. 1
8:30 a.m. Washington Hilton. 1919 Connecticut Ave NW. CMS Administrator Seema Verma to deliver remarks at the ONC Annual Meeting on “Tackling Barriers to Interoperability and Usability.” Details.
Noon. Dirksen G50. Alliance for Health Policy and Commonwealth Fund event on “What's Next for Medicare Provider Payment?” Details.