What We're Reading: Republicans Release Health Plan; J&J's Talc Problems; House Panel to Consider Vape Tax

AJMC Staff

House Republicans Release Version of Health Plan

Republicans in the House of Representatives released their healthcare plan aimed at replacing the Affordable Care Act. The Hill reported that the plan is an attempt to position Republicans for 2020 and as an alternative to various Medicare for All proposals from Democrats. It includes previous ideas, such as undoing Medicaid expansions in favor of state block grants and allowing states to decide which essential health benefits to cover, putting spending caps back in place on covered benefits, and removing the ACA’s provisions for free preventative health services.

In Lawsuit Over Baby Powders, J&J CEO Says Product Free of Asbestos Shortly Before Recall 

Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J's) chief executive officer said in a deposition earlier this month that the company’s baby powder was free of asbestos 13 days before the FDA announced it had discovered the carcinogen in a container of the product, Reuters reported. Last week, the company recalled 33,000 bottles of the powder. The company is facing thousands of lawsuits about its talc powders. Alex Gorsky said he "believed" the powders were clean in a deposition with one of the plaintiff's lawyers.

Ways and Means to Discuss Tax on Vape Products, Other Health Measures

The House Ways and Means Committee will discuss a bill to to tax vape products at the same rate as cigarettes, Roll Call reported. The measure would exempt any products that the FDA certifies for use as nicotine replacement therapy. Another bill under discussion would allow health savings accounts and flexible spending arrangements to purchase over-the-counter drugs as well as menstrual personal care products. Another measure would require high-deductible health plans to cover inhalers before reaching a deductible.

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