Good morning … An unexpected Medicaid/George Clinton crossover, via the New Funk Times: Parliament’s first new album in almost 40 years is called "Medicaid Fraud Dogg," and it’s available for streaming today. (h/t @emma_sandoe)
The number of Americans without health insurance barely changed in 2017, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The numbers that matter:
But, but, but: A lot of the administration's most significant changes to the ACA weren't in effect in 2017. In fact, a lot of them still aren't in effect.
Sen. Ron Johnson sponsored the "right to try" bill. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images
The House is likely to pass the Senate's "right to try" bill today (or if not today, at least this week). The measure would expand terminally ill patients' access to unproven therapies.
The bill passed the Senate last year without objection; it should have an easy time in the House, as well, and President Trump is expected to sign it.
State lawmakers in Michigan have abandoned an effort to exempt some residents from proposed work requirements in the state's Medicaid program, AP reports.
The impact: The aborted exemption was an effort to soften proposed work requirements. If those restrictions ultimately pass, there would be no exemption for anyone who might have a hard time finding a job in their area. The bill will likely include a temporary grace period as an alternative, per AP.
What's next: The same issue is playing out in Ohio.
Everybody has their eyes on Maryland, which caps total hospital spending and is looking to extend those caps to cover even more providers. California is eyeing something similar, and some experts believe various iterations of Maryland’s all-payer model will be the next big thing in cost control.
So, how’s it going in Maryland? A bipartisan trio of experts examines the available evidence in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The Trump administration's plan to move some number of drugs from Medicare Part B to Medicare Part D would be a mixed bag for seniors. Some would see their out-of-pocket costs rise, while others would see out-of-pocket savings, according to Avalere.
Refresher: How this would work.
The Kaiser Family Foundation is out with an analysis showing just how consolidated the market is for Medicare’s prescription drug plans. This is especially relevant as the Department of Justice looks at the CVS-Aetna and Cigna-Express Scripts mergers — all four companies are big Part D players.
The bottom line: "If these mergers go through, four firms — the two merged firms plus UnitedHealth and Humana — would cover 71% of all Part D enrollees.”
Don’t forget: As we reported last year, concentration of power has existed for years in Medicare Part D while aggregate costs have gone up significantly. It’s important to keep this in mind as the Trump administration weighs giving more power to Part D plans.
What we're watching today: Senate HELP committee hearing on the health care workforce. (10am; livestream)
What we're watching this week: HELP will consider a bill Wednesday on pandemic preparedness. Energy and Commerce health subcommittee hearing Wednesday on reauthorizing the Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education program.
Senate Finance Committee hearing Thursday on rural health care.
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