Lawmakers Not Actually Exempt From AHCA
Reporters scrutinizing the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which passed yesterday in the House, noticed the bill exempted members of Congress from its provisions. According to The New York Times, however, experts say this exemption was written to comply with the complex legislative rules on the budget reconciliation process, which is how the bill was passed. Shortly before the vote on the AHCA, the House unanimously voted to approve a separate bill that nullified the exemption.
Georgia Moves to Restrict Number of Addiction Treatment Centers
In response to Georgians’ complaints that their state is too crowded with addiction treatment centers that attract patients from out of state, Governor Nathan Deal signed legislation that would restrict the number of drug treatment facilities in each of the state’s regions. The Associated Press reports that the law also requires new treatment centers to prove a need for their services before they open. Addiction recovery advocates worry the law perpetuates harmful stigma and will restrict access to treatment for those seeking help with a substance abuse problem.
Anthem Turns to Supreme Court to Review Merger Decision
Anthem isn’t giving up on its $54 billion merger with Cigna, even after a federal court upheld a lower ruling that blocked the merger on the grounds that it would have anticompetitive effects on the insurance market. Modern Healthcare reports that the insurer will file a petition asking the US Supreme Court to take up the case. However, there is no guarantee the appeal will actually reach the nation's highest court: the Supreme Court hears oral arguments for just 80 cases out of the 7000 to 8000 such petitions it receives every term.