Good morning from Minneapolis, where I’m town for the Piper Jaffray Heartland Summit. If you’re here too, say hello!
House Republicans at a news conference about opioids. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images
The House this week is voting on a slew of measures to combat the opioid crisis, and will likely pass even more bills before the end of the month.
Most of them are pretty small — requiring studies or reports or encouraging cooperation — but Axios’ Caitlin Owens rounded up some of the proposals that could make the biggest difference.
They include …
What to watch: Public health experts consistently say the most important thing is access and funding for treatment.
The Trump administration’s effort to roll back protections for people with pre-existing conditions is focused on the individual market for health coverage, but could also spill over to affect the larger and more popular market for employer-based insurance, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The details, per WSJ:
ICYMI: The New York Times ran through some of the potential implications for the ACA’s subsidies and the shopping process, if the administration successfully persuades a court to toss out the ACA’s coverage guarantees.
The American Academy of Actuaries reiterated yesterday what so many analyses have found: The Trump administration's regulatory moves on health care are contributing to rising premiums for ACA coverage.
Yes, but: Premium increases are a reflection of how a particular market performed relative to insurers' expectations. Some companies anticipated a lot of regulatory turmoil when they set their rates for this year; those plans may not need to raise their rates as much next year.
The pending CVS-Aetna and Cigna-Express Scripts megamergers aren’t the only big antitrust cases in health care right now. More companies are accusing Johnson & Johnson of foul play with its blockbuster drug Remicade, Axios' Bob Herman reports.
Driving the news: Pharmacy chains Walgreens and Kroger last week sued J&J by alleging the drugmaker “willfully maintained its monopoly power in the relevant market using restrictive or exclusionary conduct.”
The bottom line: Biosimilars are viewed as a way to lower prices for people who take dominant biologic drugs, but their existence will not immediately provide relief to the system.
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