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What We're Reading: Cost of Single Payer in Calif.; Medical Marijuana in VA; Americans on AHCA

AJMC Staff

Estimated Cost of Single-Payer System in California

An analysis has found that a single-payer health system in California would cut spending on healthcare by 18%. However, there is a catch: the analysis was sponsored by a leading supporter of legislation in the state to set up a single-payer system, reported Los Angeles Times. A legislative analysis estimated the cost of a single-payer system to be $400 billion annually, but this new analysis puts the cost significantly lower at $331 billion. The extra costs of the system would be covered by tax increases.

 

Growing Interest in Medical Marijuana Among Veterans

The secretary of the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has cited growing interest in using medical marijuana to treat veterans dealing with posttraumatic stress disorder. According to The Wall Street Journal, David Shulkin, MD, is encouraging lawmakers to consider the issue of medical marijuana since VA doctors are currently prohibited from prescribing it. An advocacy group for veterans has also urged the Trump administration to allow research into whether marijuana could reduce suicides among veterans.

 

Americans Relying on Senate to Make Healthcare Bill Changes

The Senate is unlikely to pass the same version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) that the House of Representatives passed, which, according to a new poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation, is something a majority of Americans (55%) will be happy to hear. The poll also reported that 50% of Americans want the Senate to make either major or minor changes to the AHCA, while 8% think the Senate should pass the bill as is. Republicans have a more favorable view of the AHCA (67%), with just 8% of Democrats sharing this view. Interestingly, a larger share of Republicans (15%) either said they don’t know if they view it favorably or unfavorably or refused to answer, compared with Independents (13%) and Democrats (8%).

 
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