Good morning ... Virginia is out. Arizona is out. Cincinnati is out. Has anyone ever caught a luckier break than this Kentucky team? Doesn't affect Kentucky (yet, anyway), but UNC and Michigan State also being eliminated is just more evidence that March Madness is the only good post-season.
Anyway, back to health care ...
Various iterations of Sen. Lamar Alexander’s effort to stabilize the Affordable Care Act’s insurance markets have been bouncing around for months. But, as my colleague Caitlin Owens reminds us, this week’s big spending bill might be the last good vehicle this year to actually pass something.
Why it matters: What Congress does (or doesn’t do) this week will affect millions of people’s insurance premiums. It will also inform insurers’ decisions about whether to keep participating in the ACA’s exchanges.
The details: The most recent proposal would fund the ACA’s cost-sharing payments, which would mean lower premiums for people who don’t receive the ACA’s premium subsidies but could cause the people who do receive those subsidies to pay more.
Go deeper: Caitlin has the lowdown at Axios.com.
Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
President Trump will be in New Hampshire today to promote another new plan to combat the opioid crisis. Back in Washington, the Energy and Commerce Committee is scheduled to get the ball rolling this week on 25 opioid-related bills.
The headline: Trump’s new plan will, among other things, allow prosecutors to seek the death penalty for some drug dealers, Axios’ Khorri Atkinson reports.
The big picture: Realistically, any comprehensive response to the opioid epidemic would have to involve both public health and law enforcement. This is a problem that stems in large part from legitimate prescriptions, but which has also spiraled into illegal drugs.
Meanwhile, Energy and Commerce has a hearing scheduled Tuesday on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s role in combating the epidemic and then will meet Wednesday to talk about the bills to help address the crisis.
Robert Redfield, a University of Maryland professor and prominent HIV/AIDS researcher, is the leading candidate to take over the helm of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to the Washington Post.
What you need to know, per the WashPost:
Want to know the latest health care CEO compensation and pay ratios from 2017, based on the actual realized stock gains? My colleague Bob Herman has 'em for you:
Johnson & Johnson