What We're Reading: Washington HCV Subscription Model; AMA Against Medicare for All; Medically Assisted Suicide

CMS has approved Washington state’s proposal for a subscription model to purchase hepatitis C virus (HCV) drugs; the American Medical Association (AMA) voted against a measure that would drop its decades-long stance against single-payer healthcare proposals; Maine has become the eighth state to legalize medically assisted suicide.

CMS Approves Washington’s Subscription Model

CMS announced that it has approved Washington state’s proposal for a subscription model in Medicaid, which would allow the state to negotiate prices with manufacturers for hepatitis C virus (HCV) drugs. Under the model, the state would pay a fixed amount per year for an unrestricted amount of drugs for the virus. CMS’ approval of the proposal marks the agency’s first approval for a value-based purchasing model primarily focused on HCV drugs and the fourth approval for negotiating supplemental rebate agreements involving value-based purchasing agreements.

American Medical Association Votes Against Medicare for All

The American Medical Association (AMA) is maintaining its opposition to single-payer healthcare proposals after it voted against a measure that would have dropped its decades-long stance, reported Forbes. Instead, the association said it was in favor of various proposals in support of the Affordable Care Act, with AMA’s Immediate Past President Barbara McAneny, MD, saying the policy question now is how to improve the law to insure even more. During testimony, the AMA said it would be open to different versions of coverage expansion. The vote was met with protests outside of the AMA’s annual meeting venue.

Maine Legalizes Medically Assisted Suicide

The governor of Maine has signed the Maine Death With Dignity Act, making Maine the eighth state to legalize medically assisted suicide. The bill authorizes a “person who is 18 years of age or older, who meets certain qualifications and who has been determined by the person’s attending physician to be suffering from a terminal disease…to make a request for medication prescribed for the purpose of ending the person’s life,” reported The Hill. The bill requires the patient to undergo 2 waiting periods, complete 1 written and 2 oral requests, and obtain opinions from at least 2 physicians that a medically assisted suicide is appropriate.