What We're Reading: Pharma Execs Prep for Senate; UnitedHeathcare Loses Case; Wyo. Work Requirements

The grilling that pharmaceutical company executives are expected to face Tuesday before the Senate Finance Committee is reminiscent of previous hearings with businesses that proved to be turning points; UnitedHealthcare lost its case to prevent a former executive from working at the new healthcare venture formed by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase; a bill to establish work requirements for thousands of Medicaid recipients in Wyoming passed its first reading in the state’s House.

Pharma Execs’ Appearance Before Senate Finance Committee Could Be Watershed Moment

The grilling that pharmaceutical company executives are expected to face Tuesday before the Senate Finance Committee is reminiscent of previous hearings with businesses that proved to be turning points, leading to massive reforms of Wall Street banks, the health insurance industry, and tobacco companies, Politico said. The 7 executives set to appear are prepping with the counsel of lawyers and communications consultants in order to strike the right balance of contrition while highlighting the life-saving potential of their products.

UnitedHealthcare Loses Case Over Former Employee Who Jumped to Amazon Venture

UnitedHealthcare lost its case to prevent a former executive from working at the new healthcare venture formed by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase, The New York Times reported. David William Smith was an executive at Optum, a unit of UnitedHealth, and the insurer accused him of taking corporate secrets to his new job. Smith has denied any wrongdoing. A federal judge in Boston denied UnitedHealth’s request to have Smith stop working in his new role.

Wyoming Takes Move to Establish Medicaid Work Requirements

A bill to establish work requirements for thousands of Medicaid recipients in Wyoming passed its first reading on Friday in the state’s House, The Hill reported. The measure would require “able-bodied” Wyoming residents to work 20 hours per week to qualify for Medicaid benefits. The bill now must survive 2 more votes in the House, according to the Star Tribune, before heading to the desk of Republican Governor Mark Gordon, who has previously opposed Medicaid expansion.