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What We're Reading: Scoring New ACA Repeal; World Health Report Card; Nonaddictive Pain Medications


CBO Won’t Fully Score Latest Repeal Effort Before Vote

With just 12 days to vote on a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act before reconciliation rules expire, the Senate likely won’t see a full assessment of the Cassidy-Graham bill. According to Politico, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) will only have a “bare-bones” assessment that will include basic budgetary estimates. However, there will not be enough time for the CBO to estimate coverage implications of the bill or effects on insurance premiums. Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) has already announced he will not vote for the bill, which means Senate Republicans can only afford to lose 1 more vote and still pass the bill.

Grading the World’s Health

Progress on global health in 18 indicators has been great, according to a report card from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The report assessed progress on indicators including infant mortality, AIDS, vaccine use, smoking rates, and more. While there has been progress, the Gateses warn that donor fatigue could become an issue, and that deep cuts in global aid from the United States cannot be covered by other countries and private charities. The report card, called Goalkeepers, was 3 years in the making and will be issued annually.

Call for Nonaddictive Pain Medications

A meeting between the White House opioid commission and pharmaceutical companies has led to an agreement on a way to combat the opioid addiction epidemic. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who chairs the commission, announced that drug makers will work to develop nonaddictive pain medications and treatments to deal with opioid addiction, reported AP. While there is agreement that nonaddictive medications should be created, there is no timeline for when they might reach market.

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