What We're Reading: Republicans Reignite Insurance Bailout Debate

What we're reading, October 21, 2015: influential Republican's on health committees oppose the Affordable Care Act's reinsurance program for insurers; shareholder's of Aetna say yes to the company's merger with Humana; and the genetic testing company will once again start sharing health information with consumers.

Republicans Reignite Insurance Bailout Debate

Influential Republicans who serve on health committees, including Fred Upton (R-MI) who chairs the d House Energy and Commerce Committee, have submitted a letter to acting administrator, Andy Slavitt, urging CMS to reduce reimbursement or deny participation for certain plans under the controversial “reinsurance” program of the Affordable Care Act. “We urge you to consider adopting lower reimbursement rates for years 2015 and 2016 and to end the regulatory requirement that self-insured companies and multi-employer health plans contribute to the reinsurance program,” the letter states.

Read the letter here.

Shareholders Approve Aetna-Humana Merger

Shareholders of insurance giants Aetna and Humana have approved the proposed merger of the 2 companies in separate meetings. About 99% of Aetna’s shareholders agreed to allow the issuance of common shares to Humana stockholders associated with the acquisition.

Read more here.

23andMe Will Start Sharing Genetic Data With Customers

Following a setback in 2013 wherein the FDA stopped the molecular testing company 23andMe from sharing health information that lacked regulatory approval, the company now has the FDA’s go-ahead. 23andMe will begin providing information on the “carrier status” of people who have genetic mutations that could lead to a disease in their offspring. According to Anne Wojcicki, co-founder and chief executive of 23andMe, the company is now “working from within the system so the consumer will have a sense of ownership and a voice in that system.”

Read more here.