The Hill — Week ahead: Senate races toward healthcare vote
After dozens of closed-door meetings, Republican senators are racing full speed ahead on their effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare, aiming for a vote on the legislation in the coming week. On Thursday, the Senate unveiled its bill, but leaders cautioned that it’s just a draft and will likely change before the chamber votes on the legislation. “The bill will continue to change and this is going to be an ongoing negotiation until Tuesday or thereabouts where the leader will then have to file the bill on the Senate floor,” Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) said Thursday afternoon.
The New York Times — Medicaid cuts may force retirees out of nursing homes
Alice Jacobs, 90, once owned a factory and horses. She has raised four children and buried two husbands. But years in an assisted living center drained her savings, and now she relies on Medicaid to pay for her care at Dogwood Village, a nonprofit, county-owned nursing home here. “You think you’ve got enough money to last all your life, and here I am,” Ms. Jacobs said. Medicaid pays for most of the 1.4 million people in nursing homes, like Ms. Jacobs. It covers 20 percent of all Americans and 40 percent of poor adults.
The Washington Post — Greater opioid use and mental health disorders are linked to a new study
A new study suggests that people with anxiety and depression are consuming a disproportionate share of prescription painkillers, a finding that could add a new wrinkle to the epidemic of opioid use in the United States. Researchers at Dartmouth College and the University of Michigan found that nearly 19 percent of the estimated 38.6 million people with those two most common mental health disorders received at least two prescriptions for opioids during a year. And more than half the prescriptions for the powerful, highly addictive painkillers went to individuals in that group, the researchers asserted.
Modern Healthcare — Public health funding slashed in Senate’s proposed ACA repeal bill
Senate Republicans’ bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act deals a heavy blow to public health efforts by eliminating key funding created by the landmark healthcare reform bill. The Better Care Reconciliation Act revealed Thursday proposed eliminating the ACA’s Prevention and Public Health Fund in 2018, which makes up 12 percent, or nearly $900 million, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s budget.