Healthcare Roundup—Trump signs bill to expand private health options for veterans

Donald Trump signed the VA Mission Act into law on Wednesday. (CSPAN)

Trump signs VA Mission Act into law

President Donald Trump signed the more than $50 billion measure to expand veterans private health options and replace the troubled Veterans Choice Program into law on Wednesday.

"All during the campaign, I would say, 'Why can't they just go see a doctor instead of standing in line for weeks and weeks and weeks?' Now they can got see a doctor," Trump said during a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden.

However, it's still not clear how the new law will be paid for.

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Members of Congress say the White House is pushing against bipartisan efforts to fund the new law, calling for the money to be found through cuts elsewhere. (CSPAN) (The Washington Post article

A rapidly depleting Medicare fund could renew calls for major reform

Medicare advocacy groups and Democrats are pointing to recent Republican policies—specifically last year's tax cuts—as the main reason behind the faster depletion, as the government takes in less revenue. (FierceHealthcare)

The House prepares to vote on opioid legislation

The U.S. House plans to vote on several pieces of legislation meant to address the national opioid crisis.

The Hill reports House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., announced the chamber will vote on dozens of bills in the next couple of weeks. 

Among the measures is one which would lift limits on Medicaid payments for opioid-addiction therapy at treatment centers as well as measures to encourage research into nonaddictive pain medications. (The Hill article)

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To build scale and drive greater savings, providers in some regions are banding together in statewide Medicare accountable care organizations. 

Regulators warn that suggestions to address surprise bills, such as rate setting and payment caps, come with significant downsides for states.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb on Wednesday called for tighter scrutiny of electronic health records systems.