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Swing states and red states would stand to lose the most.Dec 20, 2019 - Health
Patients who take pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a medication that prevents HIV, should not be paying anything out of pocket for the drug — or for any blood work or doctor visits associated with getting PrEP.
The big picture: The federal government specifically reminded health insurers last year to make sure those types of ancillary services for PrEP were free at the point of care, but some patients are getting hit with bills anyway.
After campaigning on health care one election cycle after another, Democrats have put forward a social policy framework that does nothing to lower prescription drug prices, expands Medicare benefits to only include hearing coverage, and temporarily builds on the Affordable Care Act.
Why it matters: The framework may be the best the party can do with razor-thin vote margins in Congress. But some health care advocates say it's unacceptable — and voters may not be thrilled either.
Some Democrats say it's possible that pieces of their social policy agenda end up being enacted or extended for only a year or two, including major Affordable Care Act and Medicaid provisions.
Why it matters: Limited terms may be the only way Democrats can strike a deal within their budget. But the risk is that Republicans will be able to undo these temporary programs if they're able to regain control of Congress through next year's midterms.
As Democrats try to reach a deal on a massive social policy bill, the legislation's health care measures are emerging as key sticking points.
Between the lines: Moderate members have successfully reduced the amount of new spending that the party is aiming to pass, amplifying the tug-of-war between different factions of the party over which health policies to prioritize.
Fewer women are uninsured (10.5%) nationally than men (13.4%), due in large part to Medicaid providing pregnancy coverage for low-income women.
By the numbers: 16.1% of women are on Medicaid, compared with 12.7% of men, according to census data analyzed by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The just-approved malaria vaccine could represent one of the biggest ever achievements in global development.
Why it matters: Malaria kills more than 400,000 people a year, more than half of whom are under the age of 5, and it notably slows the pace of economic growth in the sub-Saharan countries most affected by the mosquito-borne disease.
The Democrats' reconciliation bill includes several major health care pieces backed by different lawmakers and advocates, setting up a precarious game of policy Jenga if the massive measure needs to be scaled back.
Between the lines: Health care may be a priority for Democrats. But that doesn't mean each member values every issue equally.
The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will announce Tuesday it plans to send $452 million to more than a dozen states' reinsurance programs.
The big picture: The Biden administration has previously signaled support for these programs, which directly compensate insurance companies for some of their most expensive claims, preventing an increase in premiums.
Medicare helps to reduce racial and ethnic disparities and close gaps in insurance coverage, a new study in JAMA Network shows.
Why it matters: This raises the possibility that expanding the program could further reduce health disparities — a timely idea, as Senate Democrats debate lowering the Medicare eligibility age and broadening its benefits.