What we’re reading, November 14, 2016: President-elect Donald Trump may keep 2 popular components of the Affordable Care Act; the Department of Veterans Affairs will introduce an online appointment scheduling app; Pfizer drops price of pneumococcal vaccine for humanitarian groups.
President-elect Donald J. Trump hinted that he may be open to preserving some of the most popular components of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Trump told The Wall Street Journal that he is in favor of keeping the prohibition against insurers denying patients coverage due to pre-existing conditions and the provision that allows parents to keep their children on their insurance until the age of 26. This shift from his campaign promise to completely repeal the ACA came after a meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House just 2 days after the election.
Beginning in January, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will allow patients to set up primary care appointments via an app on their computers or mobile devices. The online scheduling initiative will later expand to include mental health, optometry, and audiology appointments. The move is an effort to alleviate the long wait times that are currently under investigation by the VA’s Office of Inspector General.
Pfizer has lowered the price of its pneumococcal vaccine for humanitarian organizations, but some groups working to vaccinate poor countries say it is still too expensive. A 3-dose treatment of Prevnar will now cost $9.30 per child, almost twice the $5 cost called for by Doctors without Borders. In a statement, the nonprofit group called the price decrease “a step in the right direction” and said it hopes Pfizer will continue to “extend its efforts to developing countries.”