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What We're Reading: Warren Says Pharma "Hijacked" Cures Bill


What we're reading, November 29, 2016: Warren cries foul over pharma's role in legislation; women fear what will happen to coverage under Trump; and Gallup poll finds most Americans want changes or repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

US Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, said that the pharmaceutical industry has “hijacked” the 21st Century Cures Act. She said Monday that she would not support the legislation, which is designed as a delicate balance between providing funding for biomedical research and easing the path for new drugs and medical devices. Said Warren, according to STAT, “I will fight it because I know the difference between compromise and extortion.”

Women are racing to stock up on birth control pills and IUDs, and there are concerns that the cost of healthcare for women will rise again if the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, according to Kaiser Health News. Near the top of the list is the fear that the cost of maternity care could once again be excluded from individual coverage—under the ACA, it’s an essential health benefit. Before the 2010 law, insurers sometimes covered maternity care as a rider to an individual policy, with costs for women running above $10,000.

McClatchy News Services’ annual November poll on the ACA finds that a majority of Americans want the law either changed or repealed. Unlike the Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, the Gallup survey did not ask respondents their attitudes on individual parts of the law. President-elect Donald Trump has said he favors keeping the parts of the ACA that let young adults stay on parents’ plans up to age 26 and that require insurers to write coverage regardless of pre-existing conditions, which the Kaiser poll has consistently found are the most popular parts of the law. The individual mandate is consistently the least popular part of the law.

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