What We're Reading: Repeal-Only Bill Fails; GSK Slashes R&D; Cybersecurity Threats

Senate Rejects Repeal-Only Bill

With 7 Republicans breaking ranks to vote with Democrats, a bill that would repeal major parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without any replacement failed to pass the Senate. According to The New York Times, with 2 bills voted down, it seems likely that Republicans will only be able to pass a bill that modestly repeals parts of the ACA, but leaves it mostly intact. The so-called “skinny repeal” would result in 15 million more Americans being uninsured next year, according to the Congressional Budget Office, and 5 Republican and 5 Democratic governors have already urged the Senate to reject such a bill.

GlaxoSmithKline to Cut R&D Projects

The pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline has announced it will narrow its focus for research and development projects. The Wall Street Journal reported that the company will cut more than 30 projects and focus on just 4 key areas: respiratory diseases, HIV and other infectious diseases, cancer, and immune-inflammatory conditions. Glaxo will invest in 16 drugs that are expected to be big sellers and shelve another 13 drug-development projects and 20 early-stage research projects. In particular, rare diseases will face the biggest cut even while other companies pour more investment into the area.

Healthcare’s Underinvestment in Cybersecurity

The healthcare industry is having trouble recruiting talent in the area of cybersecurity despite an increased demand for these employees. Compared to other industries, healthcare invests half as much of the information technology budgets in cybersecurity, reported NPR. However, a cybersecurity attack can have devastating consequences—not only could sensitive information be accessed, but hacked medical devices could have serious consequences for people who rely on them to live.