What We're Reading: Medicare Price Transparency; GOP Divisions on ACA; and Drug Theft at VA

Drug Price Transparency in Medicare

Senators have reintroduced a bill to improve drug pricing transparency in Medicare and provide more accurate information online. According to The Register-Herald Reporter, the bill would also prohibit Part D plans and pharmacy benefit managers from retroactively reducing payments on accurate reimbursement claims from pharmacies. The legislation was previously introduced in the 114th Congress and is being reintroduced by Senators Shelley Moore Capito, R-West Virginia, and Jon Tester, D-Montana.

Divisions in GOP May Derail ACA Repeal, Tax Reform

Just before Congress left for a recess, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said he doesn’t expect Republicans will have help from Democrats when it comes to repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While Democrats do not have the numbers to stop a repeal and replace of the ACA, they may not need to, reported the Associated Press. Divisions within the Republican Party may threaten the repeal of the ACA and an overhaul of the tax code as there is disagreement on how to move forward on both issues. Republicans have already missed the initial January 27 deadline to replace the ACA, but the Trump administration is still expecting a plan to replace the ACA within a few weeks.

Drug Theft Occurring at VA Health Facilities

An analysis of government data has shown increasing incidents of drug loss or theft at facilities within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health system. Associated Press reported that the number of these incidents increased nearly tenfold since 2009. The article highlights instances of VA employees diverting painkillers to sell on the street or for their own use.