What We're Reading: Insurers Ponder Next Moves; Speeding Up Repeal; and Antibiotic Resistance

Following Scuttled Mergers, Insurers Consider Next Steps

Both the Anthem-Cigna and Aetna-Humana megamergers have been blocked, so what is next for insurers? According to Bloomberg, the companies may consider other deals with the cash they have allocated. Plus, companies may try new deals with the hope that the Trump administration’s antitrust officials may be more open to large takeovers. Humana may still remain a sought after target for deals.

GOP Split on ACA Repeal Timeline

Some of the more conservative members of the Republican Party are calling for a faster repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). They believe that President Donald Trump’s speculation that the repeal could happen next year, and even assertions from House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, that repeal would happen by the end of this year, are too slow, reported Kaiser Health News. This subset of the party is pushing to repeal the ACA now even without a replacement ready—something insurers and other stakeholders, as well as some party leaders now, are opposed to.

Should You Finish Antibiotics?

The instruction from doctors that patients finish prescribed antibiotics even when they feel better may go away. STAT reported that such a directive might actually be exacerbating antibiotic resistance. Patients who take antibiotics when they are no longer sick may drive bacteria in the body to develop a resistance so the antibiotics don’t work the next time there is an infection. The World Health Organization will debate the argument in March.