News Update for May 1, 2017
Will GOP Try for Another Healthcare Vote Before One-Week Recess?
The House will leave for a one-week recess on Thursday. This gives Republicans four days to shore up enough votes before going back home to their constituents. Some lawmakers have hinted at a vote this week, but publically GOP leaders have said they have until the end of May to pass healthcare legislation.
President Trump Comments on New Healthcare Bill, Pre-existing Conditions
Trump told CBS, during an interview Sunday on “Face the Nation,” that the Republican healthcare bill has “evolved” and will protect those with pre-existing conditions. While he mentioned that the proposed bill would set up high-risk pools, he “also repeatedly seemed to suggest continuing the current mandate.” Trump said, at different points in the interview:
- “Pre-existing conditions are in the bill—and I mandate it. I said, ‘Has to be,’ Trump said, later adding that the proposal has ‘a clause that guarantees’ protection for those with preexisting conditions.”
- “Pre-existing is going to be in there, and we’re also going to create pools, and pools are going to take care of the pre-existing.”
Trump Vows Not to Alter the ‘Concept of Medicare’
President Trump, during an interview Sunday with “Face the Nation” on CBS, said he had no intentions of altering Medicare. Trump said, “I’m not going to touch it, because I said it. Now, waste, fraud and abuse, I’m going to touch. If there’s something in Medicare that’s been abused, I will touch that. There are certain provisions in Medicare that are horrible and abusive and there’s been terrible things happening. So that kind of stuff, I will absolutely touch … But the concept of Medicare, I’m not touching.”
NIH Gets Funding Increase
Rather than the proposed cut of $1.2 billion, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will receive $2 billion in increased funding through the next five months.
New Kaiser Family Foundation Poll on Prescription Drug Prices
In a new poll, the Kaiser Family Foundation found that of Americans think that lowering prescription drug costs is a “top priority.” Most of those polled supported the following actions to lower drug prices:
- Allowing the government to negotiate Medicare drug prices in favor)
- Making it easier for generic medications to enter the market in favor)
- Requiring drug companies to release how they set their prices in favor)
- Limiting how much companies can charge for high-cost medications in favor)
- Allowing Americans to purchase imported Canadian prescriptions in favor)
- Creating an independent group to oversee the pricing of drugs in favor)
- Allowing Americans to purchase prescriptions from online Canadian pharmacies in favor)
- Eliminating prescription advertisements in favor.
- Encouraging consumers to purchase lower-cost drugs by increasing responsibility for higher-cost drugs 52 in favor.