What We're Reading: ACA to Remain in Place During Appeal; Cigarette Ban in Pharmacies; Judge Blocks 340B Cuts

January 2, 2019

The federal judge who ruled last month that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was invalid issued an order over the weekend that the law will remain in effect pending appeal; pharmacies and businesses with pharmacies in New York City will no longer be allowed to sell cigarettes and other tobacco products; a federal judge has blocked the administration's cut to the 340B program.

Affordable Care Act Will Remain in Place During Appeal

The federal judge who ruled last month that the Affordable Care Act was unconstitutional issued a stay over the weekend, which will keep the law in effect while the ruling is appealed. According to The New York Times, Judge Reed O’Connor of the Federal District Court in Fort Worth, Texas, said that the ruling would not go into immediate effect “because many everyday Americans would otherwise face great uncertainty” during the appeal.

Cigarette Sales Ban in New York Pharmacies

Federal Judge Blocks Cuts to 340B

Starting this week, pharmacies and businesses that contain pharmacies, such as supermarkets, will be banned from selling cigarettes and other tobacco products in New York City, reported The Wall Street Journal. Affecting approximately 500 pharmacies, the change will reduce the total number of retailers licensed to sell tobacco by about 6.4%. Health officials in the city praised the decision, calling it an important step in reducing the number of smokers in New York.A federal judge has blocked the Trump administration’s cut to the 340B Drug Discount Program, ruling that the administration illegally reduced Medicare payments to the program and that the rule went against Congress’s intent when it approved the program, reported The Hill. The rule, which went into effect last January, cut payments by 30%. When the rule was issued, the administration argued that the changes would reduce out-of-pocket costs Medicare patients pay for outpatient drugs. However, hospitals argued that the changes would threaten critical services they provide to underserved populations.