What We're Reading: Trump Signs Right-to-Try Law; NJ Individual Mandate; Poverty and Early Death

President Donald Trump has signed the so-called "right-to-try" bill into law, and claimed that it would result in lower drug prices within weeks; New Jersey will implememt a statewide individual mandate requiring residents to have health insurance or pay a fee; in the United States, poor people are dying younger, with low socioeconomic status leading to people being sicker and dying earlier.

President Trump Signs Right-to-Try Bill Into Law

The so-called “right-to-try” bill, which helps people with deadly illnesses try experimental treatments, has been signed into law. President Donald Trump supported such efforts to improve access to treatments during his presidential campaign, and the bill will allow patients with no other treatment options to access drugs that have not yet been approved by the FDA, reported The Associated Press. After signing the bill, Trump claimed that drug makers will voluntarily make big drug price cuts in just a few weeks, reported Politico. However, industry sources said they had no knowledge of what caused the president to say that.

New Jersey Governor Signs Law for State Individual Mandate

New Jersey will now require all residents to have health insurance or pay a fee. According to the Newark Star-Ledger, the bill’s sponsor said the state mandate would stabilize the insurance market and allow the Affordable Care Act to continue to be successful in New Jersey. Fees collected from people who choose not to have health insurance will be deposited in a fund to help pay the claims of people who are very sick in order to keep rates from rising dramatically.

The Cycle of Poverty, Bad Health, and Early Death

In the United States, poor people are dying younger, with low socioeconomic status leading to people being sicker and dying earlier. The Washington Post reported that an analysis of data found the increased likelihood of poorer people dying earlier means they have less political impact to pursue policies that could help improve their health or lengthen their lives. In addition, these disparities are worse in the United States than in other developed countries.