May 5, 2017

Northwell Health CEO: GOP bill is "far from a success"

Michael Dowling / Northwell Health

Michael Dowling, CEO of Northwell Health, a $10 billion not-for-profit hospital system in New York, is not a fan of the Republican health care bill or how it was passed in the House. President Trump and House Republicans ran a victory lap Thursday after the party-line vote, but Dowling said the bill was "far from a success" as it heads to the Senate.

"I would hope the Senate would be more intelligent in how they go about doing it," Dowling told me. "I don't see in any way how this (bill) improves access to care. I think it will do the very opposite."

His concerns stemmed from a Congressional Budget Office report that said 24 million people would lose their health coverage under the bill. Dowling was most dismayed about the proposed cuts to Medicaid. Roughly 21% of Northwell's patient revenue comes from treating low-income people on Medicaid. And for struggling hospitals in low-income communities, "it's just going to get worse — not better," he said.

Between the lines: Most Republicans have ignored concerns raised by people who work at hospitals — namely that the bill will slash Medicaid and undermine health insurance benefits, which will lead to more uninsured people. Hospitals still have to treat those patients, but they won't get paid for it.

Dowling's criticism epitomizes the hospital industry's opposition to the bill. It's possible their concerns will resonate more with senators, especially those like Rob Portman of Ohio who represent states where hospitals benefited from Medicaid expansion.

Go deeper

Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 75,465 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 6 hours ago - Health

SoftBank to cut its stake to get T-Mobile's Sprint deal done

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

T-Mobile and Sprint announced a revised merger agreement that will see SoftBank getting a smaller share of the combined company, while most shareholders will receive the previously agreed upon exchange rate. The companies said they hope to get the deal as early as April 1.

Why it matters: The amended deal reflects the decline in Sprint's business, while leaving most shareholders' stake intact and removing another hurdle to the deal's closure.