Good morning ... Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Ed Lorenzen, of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, who died tragically over the weekend. Ed was a valued, friendly and knowledgeable resource for a huge number of Washingtonians, the Axios health care team included.
The Koch network isn't pushing for Congress to try again this year to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, my colleague Caitlin Owens reports from the Kochs’ donors’ conference in California. Instead, the powerful conservative network plans to put its resources toward the 2018 midterms and promoting the GOP’s new tax law.
Between the lines: GOP leaders, particularly Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have been clear that repeal isn't likely to happen this year. This means there won't be any pressure from some major conservative donors for Congress to try.
Yes, but: Part of selling the tax law will likely involve promoting the fact that it repealed the ACA’s individual mandate. “We made Obamacare voluntary, not mandatory," Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn said this weekend.
Almost 21 million people are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans, the narrow-network alternatives to traditional Medicare, based on a review of new federal data by Axios’ Bob Herman.
By the numbers: Here’s how the largest Medicare Advantage companies fared in the latest sign-up period, per Bob’s review:
A Silicon Valley note: Clover Health boosted enrollment 23% year over year, but it’s still barely a guppy in the Medicare Advantage ocean, with a little more than 30,000 members.
With some help from Brookings’ Matt Fiedler, Caitlin crunched the numbers on the ACA stabilization bill from Sens. Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray, and confirmed what we had all suspected: Passing that bill now would create more losers than winners, thanks to the way insurers managed to make up for the loss of cost-sharing subsidies by boosting premium subsidies.
By the numbers: If Congress restored funding for the ACA’s cost-sharing subsidies…
Why it matters: There’s renewed talk of bringing this bill — or something like it — up for a vote, thanks to the promises Sen. Susan Collins extracted from leadership in return for her vote on the tax overhaul.
Go deeper: Read Caitlin’s full analysis here.
Hospitals are on the warpath over cuts to Medicare’s 340B drug discount program. But a new Avalere analysis finds that most hospitals will ultimately come out ahead anyway, thanks to separate increases in Medicare’s payments for drugs.
What we're watching today: Alex Azar is sworn in as Health and Human Services secretary.
What we're watching this week: President Trump delivers his first State of the Union address on Tuesday. Senate health committee hearing Tuesday on small business health plans.
House Energy and Commerce health subcommittee hearing Tuesday on the implementation of new rules for compounding pharmacies.
What's on your radar? Let me know: email@example.com.