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The House is set to vote today on a “right to try” bill — a proposal to let terminally ill patients access drugs that are still being reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration. It’s a more complicated issue than it might seem at first blush:
Republicans think they’ve found that balance. Axios’ Caitlin Owens dug through some changes Republicans unveiled over this past weekend, most of which seem designed to make sure that “right to try” uses won’t get in the way of clinical trials.
Yes, but: Democrats are still expected to oppose the measure. "This legislation simply is not needed," said Rep. Frank Pallone, the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Go deeper: Caitlin has more details.
Sens. Susan Collins and Lamar Alexander support ACA stabilization. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images
The once-bipartisan effort to stabilize the Affordable Care Act’s insurance markets “is faltering amid escalating demands by each party and erratic positions by President Donald Trump,” AP reports.
The other side: Senators backing the stabilization effort released a new analysis from Oliver Wyman that says their proposal would work, lowering premiums by as much as 40%.
The clock is ticking: If Congress is going to work something out, it probably needs to happen before the next deadline to fund the federal government — which is to say, in the next 10 days.
High-deductible insurance plans can end up being cheaper even for people who use a lot of health care, according to a new working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research.
The researchers looked at workplaces where employees have a choice between plans with higher premiums and lower deductibles or higher deductibles and lower premiums.
The findings: Choosing the high-deductible plan typically saves employees about $500 per year. And roughly two-thirds of the time, employees’ maximum total health care spending in a year would be lower with the high-deductible plan.
My colleague Bob Herman is still tracking executive compensation and the new mandate to disclose how CEOs' pay stacks up against the average employee.
We wrote about the first tranche of documents here, and Bob has found more noteworthy company filings. Here are the latest total CEO compensation and pay ratios from 2017, based on the actual realized gains of stock:
Peter Suderman, the managing editor of Reason, has a very good op-ed in The New York Times about Republicans’ relationship with the ACA and the mark they’ve been able to make on its basic structure.
Key quote: “Republicans are now in something of an arranged marriage with the health care law. These alterations are being made in a predictably haphazard fashion, with little in the way of guiding theory, but the cumulative effect is to turn Obamacare into a law that they can, if not love, at least learn to live with.”
What’s next: Republicans have started working within the framework of the ACA just as Democrats are moving on to embrace some form of a single-payer system.
What we're watching this week: HHS secretary Alex Azar testifies Thursday at a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on HHS' budget request (details). VA secretary David Shulkin will also appear before House appropriators on Thursday.
Senate HELP Committee hearing Thursday on the 340B drug discount program.
What's on your radar? Let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org.