What We're Reading: Senators React to Health Bill; Opioid Funding; Humana Leaves Individual Market

Four Republicans Don’t Support Senate Bill

Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), and Mike Lee (R-Utah) came out almost immediately against the Senate healthcare bill when it was released on Thursday. According to The Washington Post, the 4 senators said they cannot support the current bill. Cruz, Paul, and Lee want the bill to go further to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), while Johnson wants more time before voting on the bill—currently, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) wants to vote on the bill next week, before senators go home for the Fourth of July recess.

Opioid Funding in Senate Healthcare Bill

The Senate healthcare bill does not just rollback pieces of the ACA and reform Medicaid, it also includes funding for opioid addiction treatment. While some Republican senators had been looking to get $45 billion in funding over 10 years, the bill only includes $2 billion for 1 year, reported The Wall Street Journal. Reactions were mixed with Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) approving of the funding while Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-West Virginia) likely to push for more funding during negotiations.

Humana Is Done With Individual Market

Humana’s CEO said that the insurer is done with the individual insurance market. Regardless of whether Republicans reshape the market through a bill repealing the ACA or if Obamacare stays the law of the land and stabilizes, Humana has no plans to reenter the individual market, according to Reuters. In February, the insurer announced it was leaving the market in 11 states—instead it will focus on Medicare Advantage, according to its CEO.