States Look to Block ACA Subsidies Cut
After President Donald Trump announced he would no longer pay insurers cost-sharing reduction subsidies under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), 18 states and the District of Columbia have sued the administration to block the cuts. According to Reuters, the Democratic attorneys general are asking a federal court in California to force the administration to make the next payment. A separate pending lawsuit from 17 Democratic attorneys general defends the legality of the payments.
CHIP Negotiations Progress Slowly
Despite the deadline having passed to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), little progress has been made to fund the program. Democrats and Republicans are at odds over offsets that would cut an ACA public health fund and increase Medicare premiums for people with income over a certain threshold, reported The Hill. The Democrats contend that these offsets will cause the ACA to break down even further. Without an agreement, the House could still vote on a bill passed by the committee.
Trump Will Declare an Opioid Emergency
Next week, the president is expected to formally declare a national emergency for the opioid addiction epidemic. Declaring a national emergency was recommended by the president’s commission on the epidemic, but former HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD, had said the step wasn’t necessary, STAT reported. Related, the president's pick for drug czar, US Representative Tom Marino, R-Pennsylvania, has withdrawn over reports he pushed legislation to make it harder for the Drug Enforcement Administration to act against drug distributors.