What We're Reading: $60M Pay-for-Delay Settlement; Tool for State Waivers; New York Single Payer

Pay-for-Delay Case Settled for $60 Million

Merck & Co and Upsher-Smith Laboratories have settled a lawsuit that alleged they made a deal to delay generic versions of K-Dur, a potassium supplement. According to Reuters, a class-action lawsuit was filed in 2001 following a settlement in patent litigation in which Upsher-Smith agreed not to market a generic version of K-Dur before 2001. The class-action lawsuit was brought by direct purchasers of K-Dur. The companies have agreed to pay $60.2 million, but have continued to deny any wrongdoing as part of the settlement.

HHS Makes It Easier for States Seeking ACA Waivers

A new tool is available to help states seek waivers from certain rules of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). CNBC reported that the tool will help states complete applications to set up high-risk pools and state-operated reinsurance programs. The announcement of the tool comes just a day after HHS announced small businesses will be able to circumvent HealthCare.gov to get health insurance for employees.

New York Tries Again for Single Payer

The New York Assembly has passed a “Medicare-for-all” bill which would create a statewide single-payer healthcare program. This isn’t the first attempt at passing such legislation, though. This bill has passed the Assembly twice already but has not passed in the Senate, which is more conservative and currently controlled by Republicans, reported The Wall Street Journal. As a bill to repeal the ACA makes its way through the US Congress, sponsors of the New York bill feel the legislation has more support now.