The Senate Unanimously Confirms Shulkin
David J. Shulkin is a holdover from the Obama administration and is, so far, President Donald Trump’s only Cabinet pick with rare bipartisan support. According to The Washington Post, Shulkin was confirmed 100-0 and will lead the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) after 18 months as the undersecretary for health. The VA is still troubled by long wait times and shortages of frontline nurses and doctors. Despite talk from the president, Shulkin promised senators that he would not privatize the VA.
In Texas, Experiment to Privatize Medicaid Transportation Fails
A state program to transport Texans to medical appointments has cost the state more and served fewer people, reported the Houston Chronicle. The move to privatize the state transportation program was supposed to reduce fraud, but the number of poor Texans using the program has fallen from 350,000 to 150,000; meanwhile, costs per ride have nearly tripled for the public. Despite the costs and the drop in users, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission renewed all of the contracts until 2018.
A Look at the GOP’s Talking Points on Healthcare
Kaiser Health News has analyzed the Republicans Party’s 4 most common talking points about the shortcomings of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). More than that, the piece, written by Julie Rovner, determined that political fights over the law may have contributed to its issues. For example, one talking point is that the individual health insurance market is collapsing. Both House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, have said this, yet more than 10 million Americans are getting covered by the ACA’s exchanges, which experts suggest means this claim isn't true.