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HHS Secretary Alex Azar. Photo: Oliver Contreras-Pool/Getty Images
When Arkansas became the first state to enforce work requirements in its Medicaid program, thousands lost their coverage. Most of those people haven't found jobs, according to an analysis of state data by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and are still uninsured.
Why it matters: The Trump administration has argued that work requirements will help people get off of the government program and into the workforce — part of a broader reframing of Medicaid as more of a welfare program than a source of insurance.
By the numbers: Of the roughly 18,000 Arkansans who lost their coverage last year due to the new rules, only about 2,000 have re-enrolled in 2019, according to HHS.
Reality check: Only 1,981 of those people matched entries in the state's database of new hires, CBPP says, suggesting that the rest didn't find work.
The CEOs of 23 prominent health care companies earned more than $632 million in 2018, based on the actual value of cashed-out stock, according to my colleague Bob Herman's most recent tally of federal securities documents.
Some early takeaways:
The bottom line: Executives of publicly traded companies get paid mostly in stock, so their incentives are to raise the stock price as much as possible. In health care, that often means contradicting the industry's line of "patient-centered care."
UnitedHealth Group is joining the insurance industry's call for government rate-setting as a way to combat surprise hospital bills.
Vox's Sarah Kliff, meanwhile, takes a look at another option: Requiring a binding arbitration process between hospitals and insurers, as New York state does.
The circular intrigue: Arbitration can protect patients from surprise bills. But it's not designed as a solution for the larger problem of the country's health care bills.
Photo: Eva Hambach/AFP/Getty Images
FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb is still butting heads with tobacco companies on his way out the door, he said yesterday.
Details, all via Bloomberg's Anna Edney, who interviewed Gottlieb after he spoke at the Brookings Institution yesterday:
Situational awareness: Gottlieb said his last day on the job will be April 5, and after that he'll be taking his daughters to Disney World.
A group of top global scientists yesterday declined to sign on to their colleagues' calls for a moratorium on gene editing, but warned it would be "irresponsible" to allow it in clinical practice, Axios' Eileen Drage O'Reilly reports.
What they're saying: A World Health Organization committee said there's an "urgent need" to create an international registry of all human genome research — and that "it is irresponsible at this time for anyone to proceed with a clinical application of human germline editing."
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