What We're Reading: Drug Price Transparency; Planned Parenthood in Mass.; and Utah's ACA Support

Momentum of Drug Price Transparency Bills Growing

There are now 15 states that have filed bills related to improving transparency around drug prices this year. The Hill reported that states are pursuing this legislation as an alternative to price-limiting bills for the purpose of addressing rising drug costs. Predictably, drug lobbyists are pushing back, explaining that disclosing costs doesn’t fully show the cost of drug development. The industry has torpedoed other bills aimed at curbing costs, such as California’s initiative to restrict what the state pays for drugs.

Massachusetts Vows to Protect Planned Parenthood

There is a real threat that Congress could block funding to Planned Parenthood, so it may be up to states to keep the organization funded. In Massachusetts, the governor has vowed to “plug any holes in the budget” for the state’s Planned Parenthood, according to Reuters. Close to 10% of the state’s Planned Parenthood budget comes from Medicaid reimbursements that cover services, such as screening and treatment for cancers and sexually transmitted diseases, for roughly one-third of its total patients.

Utah Embraces the ACA After Trying to Squash It

A phenomenon occurring in Utah may highlight the difficulty of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The traditionally red state has seen a surge of support for the health law, and they don’t want their representatives to vote for repealing Obamacare, reported The New York Times. With a recent increase of residents signing up for coverage, even Republicans are starting to support the law. The situation in Utah outlines the difficult situation Republicans in Congress are in as their part begins the work of repealing and replacing the health law. As with other states, Congressional offices in Utah are being flooded with messages from concerned residents who don’t want to lose their health insurance.