What We're Reading: ACA Insurance Tax; Promising Alzheimer Drug; Healthcare Migration to Google

The House voted to delay an Affordable Care Act health insurance tax until 2021 and expand Health Savings Accounts; in a large clinical trial, an Alzheimer drug reduced plaques in the brains of patients and slowed the progression of dementia; after leaving high-profile positions in government and at healthcare organizations, more big names in healthcare are ending up at Google's companies instead of universities.

House Supports Delaying Affordable Care Act Insurance Tax

A health insurance tax under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that Republicans and some Democrats criticized for causing premiums to increase could be delayed until 2021. The House passed a bill that would delay the tax, which was already suspended for 2019, for 2 more years, reported The Hill. The purpose of the tax is to help fund the ACA’s insurance expansion. The bill also included a measure to expand Health Savings Accounts and increase the number of ACA enrollees who can purchase catastrophic plans with high deductibles.

Alzheimer Drug Reaches Promising Milestone

In a large clinical trial, a drug was shown to reduce plaques in the brains of patients, thus slowing the progression of dementia. According to The New York Times, this represents the first time an Alzheimer drug has successfully done both. The results were presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference. The trial involved patients with mild cognitive impairment or mild Alzheimer dementia. Currently, there are only a few medications that slow memory decline for a few months. The drug still has to go onto a phase 3 trial, where other promising Alzheimer drugs have failed.

Healthcare Execs and Officials Head to Google

More big name healthcare officials and executives are taking jobs at Google’s companies instead of moving onto positions at universities. STAT highlighted how appointments of people like Toby Cosgrove, MD, the former president and CEO of Cleveland Clinic; Robert Califf, MD, former commissioner of the FDA; and Thomas Insel, MD, former director of the National Institute of Mental Health, show that Google’s companies are becoming important players in healthcare.