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What We're Reading: Work Requirements in Medicaid; Refusing Opioids; Drug Importation Danger


Republicans Push Medicaid Work Requirement

The House Budget Committee voted on a conservative healthcare proposal: requiring able-bodied adults to have a job to qualify for Medicaid. According to The Washington Post, the panel also recommended ending Medicaid expansion sooner than the American Health Care Act (AHCA)’s timeline and converting Medicaid to a block grant. Meanwhile, the AHCA is likely to undergo changes. House Speaker Paul Ryan said that the GOP is looking at ways to provide better assistance to people in their 50s and 60s, who would pay higher premiums under the health plan.

Offering the Ability to Refuse Opioids

More states are considering ways to let people refuse being prescribed opioids. The “non-opioid directive” being considered by Connecticut and Alaska would let patients include a note in their medical files that informs healthcare providers that they do not want opioids, reported the AP. Massachusetts and Pennsylvania created similar laws last year in an attempt to prevent someone who is recovering from addiction from relapsing.

Former FDA Commissioners: Do Not Import Drugs

During his presidential campaign, President Donald Trump floated the idea of legalizing the importation of drugs from other countries. However, the 4 more recent commissioners of the FDA—2 who served under Barack Obama and 2 who served under George W. Bush—have all come out against the idea. Furthermore, Scott Gottlieb, MD, Trump’s nominee for the position, has also voiced concerns that the strategy would not only pose cost and safety issues, but would achieve the objective of cheaper drugs.

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